NORTH PORT, Floride – The North Port Police Department is helping agencies in multiple states find out what happened to a woman who went missing on a road trip with her boyfriend. The van they were traveling in was located this weekend at a house in Sarasota County.
Gabrielle Petito, 22, and her boyfriend were driving a converted campervan from Florida to New York City, then through western national parks when Gabrielle went missing.
Gabrielle’s mother said she last spoke to her daughter via text on August 25. The campervan was located at her boyfriend’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida on the weekend of September 11, the day Gabrielle’s mother reported her missing.
Police said Gabrielle’s boyfriend was not missing, but did not say where he was or if he was considered involved in her disappearance.
Agencies from Sarasota County to New York to the FBI are now trying to piece together where she could have gone.
Screenshot of Gabrielle and her boyfriend’s Youtube video during the roadtrip (Nomadic Statik / Youtube)
Gabrielle and her boyfriend began their journey in July, driving from Florida to New York City, where Petito grew up. The couple then drove west, stopping at national parks along the way.
Just over a month after their trip began on September 11, Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt reported her daughter missing. Schmidt said the last time she spoke to her daughter was August 25.
Social media track
The couple have documented some of their trips on social media. On July 4, Gabrielle posted a photo of herself on Instagram, standing between two rock formations in Monument Rocks, Kansas.
On July 11, Gabrielle posted a photo of herself in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Eleven days later, she posted a photo of herself in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
According to her Instagram posts, Gabrielle and her boyfriend spent several weeks in Utah, visiting Mystic Hot Springs, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. An article describes the dangers of rock climbing and their experience in climbing a less traveled and dangerous area.
“We passed the arch a bit where the rock is at such an angle that it seems impossible to walk on it, but being such experienced hikers, I was confident I could make it! The message read, in part. “A lot of people who spotted us were thinking about how we got here, shouting things like ‘wow you must be crazy!’ “
Gabrielle’s most recent Instagram post was on August 25. The photos appear to have been taken in front of a mural titled “The Monarch” in Ogden, Utah.
In a 7 minute Youtube video titled “VAN LIFE | Beginning Our Van Life Journey, ”posted August 19 to the Nomadic Statik account, the couple can be seen in various unmarked locations, appearing to be enjoying their lives on the road.
Parts of the video feature them both, while others only show Gabrielle. The video is the only post visible on Nomadic Statik’s Youtube channel.
Mother begs for answers
According to Fox News, who spoke to Gabrielle’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, the couple stopped in Grand Teton National Park on August 25, which is Petito’s last known location before the couple planned to visit Yellowstone National Park.
Gabrielle’s mother Nicole Schmidt breaks down during press conference over missing daughter
“I don’t know if she left Grand Teton or not,” Schmidt told Fox News on Sunday. “I got a text from her on the 27th and 30th, but I don’t know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I did not speak to him verbally. ”
“I can’t say much, but she’s not with the van anymore,” Schmidt told Fox News of her daughter. “I don’t want to say anything more, but for the people who are looking for her, I want them to look for her now, and not this van anymore.” “
Possible route map traveled by the couple (WNYW)
North Port Police said the van was found at the home of Gabrielle’s boyfriend’s parents.
In a statement, North Port PD said, “We currently have no definitive information that a crime has taken place here in North Port. However, the circumstances are strange. The vehicle she was traveling in was located here in North Port. So, we are actively pulling together the local details and any evidence to help find the answers needed. “
North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said they were not ruling out anything, including that Gabrielle might not want to be found.
“We hope she’s there somewhere. Sometimes people just don’t want to communicate, so it’s definitely still a viable option, ”Taylor said. “But we have to prepare for something perhaps more sinister. “
Screenshot of Youtube video of the van driven by Gabrielle and her boyfriend (Nomadic Statik / Youtube)
Detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department in New York, Petito’s hometown, are investigating his disappearance. Anyone with advice on the matter to submit to the Suffolk County Police Department can do so by calling 1-800-220-8477.
North Port PD says anyone who may have information about the case is urged to contact 941-429-7382.
The FBI field office in Tampa is also participating in the investigation. You can also call 1-800-CALL-FBI or send advice to tips.fbi.gov.
Petito is 5 feet 5 inches tall and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a triangular tattoo with flowers on her left arm and a “Let it be” tattoo on her right arm.
A family friend started a GoFundMe to raise money to help find Gabrielle Petito. The page calls his disappearance suspicious.