‘She hasn’t been seen for weeks and now he’s back here with the vehicle and we’ve been told to speak to the family attorney,’ cops say
Police investigating the disappearance of YouTuber Gabby Petito on a cross-country van tour with her fiance admit “something very bad” may have happened to her.
Ms Petito, 22, of Long Island, hasn’t been seen since she checked out of a Salt Lake City hotel on August 24 with her partner Brian Laundrie.
The couple had been documenting their trip across the United States on their YouTube channel Nomadic Statik, but fears grew for Ms Petito’s safety when she failed to contact her family for several weeks.
They reported her missing on September 11.
Mr Laundrie has returned to his home in North Port, Florida, and the couple’s van was seized by police at the weekend.
North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told The Independent Mr Laundrie’s parents had refused to allow officers to speak to him, immediately handing them contact information for the family’s attorney.
Asked if police found anything suspicious in the family’s actions, Mr Taylor said: “There’s common sense at play.
“We don’t even have any evidence that a crime has been committed, other than concern and things not adding up that would leave you to potentially assume that.
“It’s possible that something very bad has happened here, she hasn’t been seen for weeks and now he’s back here with the vehicle and we’ve been told to speak to the family attorney,” Mr Taylor told The Independent.
Mr Taylor said the FBI was assisting with examining the couple’s van, and that process would last “as long as it takes”.
“We have certain skills and techniques and that will take as long as is necessary to retrieve any evidence.”
Ms Petito’s family have set up a GoFundme account which had received $25,000 in donations by Tuesday morning.
The page states that the family are working with the FBI and “multiple law enforcement agencies” in a nationwide search for Ms Petito.
It says she was last known to be in Grand Teton, Wyoming on August 25 heading towards Yellowstone National Park, after travelling and camping extensively over the last couple of months
A Facebook page appealing for help to find her has gained more than 23,000 followers.