The world is yet to come to terms with the tragic death of 'van life' influencer Gabby Petito. The last several days have been full of tension and heated emotions.
It has now emerged that a witness saw Gabby and Brian Laundrie, her boyfriend, fight. The witness has also revealed the last words she was heard saying.
As with many things about this case, these words are pretty shocking.
Gabby Went Missing On September 11
Petito's mother, Schmidt, reported the young woman as missing on September 11. At the time, Petito had last been in touch with her family in late August.
The last time Petito talked to her family, she was in Wyoming with Brian Laundrie.
When Laundrie Got Back To Florida On September 1, Petito Was Not With Him
Right now, Laundrie is a person of interest to the authorities.
The Couple Posted Photos About Their Adventures On Social Media
Although the adventurous pair regularly shared many pictures on social media, Petito had not posted anything in 3 weeks.
The Police Began Searching For Her
Todd Garrison, the chief of North Port police, stated after the authorities started looking for her. Garrison asked anyone with information about Petito's whereabouts, including Laundrie, to come forward with it.
He also pointed out that the lack of information from Laundrie was getting in the way of completing the investigation. However, Garrison was hopeful that they would eventually find answers.
The Van Was Seized By The Authorities And Searched
Petito's family was also frustrated by Laundrie's unwillingness to explain why he drove her van to Florida without her. The family made their concerns known through a statement.
The Laundrie Family Didn't Say Much About Petito's Disappearance
Even though there was a spirited search for Petito, the Laundrie family did not say much about what was going on. Only later, Cassie Laundrie, Brian Laundrie's sister, opened up in an interview, saying that the family hoped that Petito was safe.
The Laundrie Family "Obviously" Wanted Gabby To Be Found Safe
Cassie explained that Petito was like a sister to her and expressed a wish that all she wanted was for her to get home safe. To her, the whole thing was "just a big misunderstanding."
Those Searching For Petito Did Not Meet With Much Success
Even with the constant appeals for information, Petito was nowhere to be seen. However, on Sunday, 19, the efforts bore fruit.
Human Remains Were Found At The Grand Teton National Park
The remains were found by the authorities. Soon after, the FBI claimed that the remains were consistent with Petito's description.
The Information Was Shared Through The Media By The FBI
Charles Jones, an agent with the FBI, shared the devastating news. The world was in shock.
People Were Just As Surprised By The Power Of The Internet
The remains were found with the help of two other YouTubers, who happened to have filmed Petito's van before she disappeared.
Jenn And Kyle Bethune Saw Petito's Van While Reviewing A Video Footage
The YouTubers, who call themselves Red White & Bethune, saw the van while reviewing their video. In the video, a white van can be seen parked at the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park.
This happens to be the exact location the FBI claimed to have discovered human remains that matched the missing Petito.
The Bethunes Uploaded The Video To YouTube
In the video, they claimed that they were editing a video from August 27 from Spread Creek Dispersed Camping in the Grand Teton National Park when they saw a van with Florida plates.
They were interested in the van because they are originally from Florida and thought they should stop and say hi. However, it did not seem like anyone was there as the van's lights were all off.
The Bethunes could not find a spot in the camping area, and they had to leave.
Petito's Van Was Recorded By Accident
According to media reports, the YouTubers' camera accidentally recorded because they had forgotten to turn it off. Fortunately, it ended up recording Petito's van.
When reviewing the video later, they noticed the van and handed it over to the FBI, who could find human remains in the area.
Despite Everything We Know About The Case, People Think The Authorities Could Have Done More
The police have certainly made a lot of progress in the case. However, people think they could have done more and much sooner.
In particular, people think the authorities slacked off about Laundrie.
Authorities Faced Criticism For Allowing Laundrie To Get Away
Laundrie disappeared before answering important questions about Petito's disappearance, and people were not happy about it. He disappeared long after Petito went missing, and in that time, the authorities kept asking him and his lawyer to co-operate with the investigators.
Afterward, a visit to his home made it clear he had disappeared three days earlier.
People Were Critical Of The Police's Failure To Interrogate Laundrie
Experts and former detectives were also unhappy with how the police handled Laundrie.
Laundrie Should Have Been "Under Surveillance"
According to Ed Gavin, an expert in missing persons, Laundrie should have been "under surveillance." Gavin claimed that this surveillance should have been immediate.
He lamented that they allowed him to get out of their sight despite knowing that "time is of the essence with these investigations."
Police Should Have Gotten A Warrant
Another expert, Pat Diaz, also weighed in on the issue and explained that the police should have gotten a warrant. Diaz is a former Miami-Date homicide detective.
He wondered why they needed to get Laundrie's consent when they could have gotten a search warrant instead. According to Diaz, they should have obtained a warrant to search everything in his house, including his laptop.
He believes this mistake cost the authorities important clues about the case.
The Police Are Also Getting Criticized For Something Else
People also wonder why the authorities did nothing about a 911 call about a possible domestic violence case involving Laundrie and Petito. The call was made a month before she went missing.
The Authorities Later Released A Bodycam Footage Of The Followup To The 911 Call
The call was made by a witness in Utah on September 12. The caller said that Laundrie hit Petito and then got into a van before driving off.
Police Soon Responded To The Call
The video shows police talking to Petito and Laundrie on the side of the road. Petito appeared distressed.
The Video Has Since Gone Viral
The police can be seen having a conversation with the pair after pulling over their van outside Arches National Park in Moab.
The Officer Separated The Two And Questioned Them
The police wanted to know what had led to the 911 call. Petito said she had bad OCD during her conversation with the police and was apparently "apologizing to him, saying I'm sorry I'm so mean."
She also explained that they had been fighting all morning and that he refused to allow her back in the car until she had calmed down.
The Officer Then Talked To Laundrie After Sitting Petito At The Back Of His Patrol Car
Laundrie claimed that Petito often got worked up and tried to distance himself during such moments, which was why he locked the car.
He also claimed to have pushed her away while telling her they should take a step back. Laundrie also said she hit him with her phone.
Police Considered The Incident A "Mental/Emotional Health Break" And Not Domestic Assault
Rather than face charges, the couple agreed to spend the night apart, and the police helped Laundrie get a hotel room. Petito was left in the van.
The Footage Suggests Petito Initiated The Violence
Although the footage indicates that Petito had started the incident, the 911 call gives a different impression.
The Caller Spoke Of Laundrie Hitting Petito
The caller, who claimed to be at the corner of Main Street by Moonflower, talked about seeing a white van with Florida plates.
The Caller Claimed The Man Was Slapping The Girl
According to the call, the two drove off soon after the gentleman slapped the girl. The police wanted confirmation that the man actually slapped the girl, and he said, "Yes."
Here's The 911 Call
Several weeks after the incident took place, Petito's mom got a message from Petito's phone.
The Message Made Petito's Mom Concerned About Her Daughter
Schmidt, Petito's mom, did not believe the message was sent by Petito as it was obviously a lie. "I think I can do the math," she claimed.
Schmidt, However, Remained Tight-lipped On Who She Thought Sent The Message
The message said, "No service in Yosemite." Schmidt could tell that this was unlike anything her daughter would have written.
A Day Earlier, Petito Had Made Her Last Instagram Post
After the post, Laundrie got back home without Petito 4 days later, which raised more concerns.
Another Mysterious Message Surfaced
The second message was found in the van's hard drive, and it was released after a warrant was issued. This was the last message Petito sent her mom.
The Warrant Revealed The Message
The text message said, "Can you help Stan? I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Stan was her grandfather's name.
According to her mom, Petito never called him Stan, which got her concerned that something was not right.
Investigators Think The Drive Offers Crucial Clues About Petito Final Days
People are hoping that, for the sake of her family's peace, the drive will offer all the answers they need to understand what indeed went down.
An Autopsy Was Done Soon After The Body Was Found
The autopsy confirmed what everyone suspected by indicating that the body was Gabby Petito's.
Petito Was Murdered
It was clear from the autopsy that Petito was killed. However, the main suspect, Brian Laundrie, has gone into hiding.
A Witness Has Come Forward With Information About A Fight The Couple Had
The witness, Christopher, claims to have heard Petito saying to Laundrie: "Why do you have to be so mean?" while they fought over a phone.
The witness also remembers seeing Laundrie trying to leave without her.
"Something Didn't Seem Right"
The witness also told the police that something didn't seem right. Hopefully, Laundrie will be caught soon.