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Police search for missing ‘van-life girl’ Gabby Petito in Wyoming and boyfriend in Florida

Park rangers at the Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming, are actively searching for the missing ‘van-life girl Gabby Petito, while Northport Police and FBI officers begin searching for her missing boyfriend at a wildlife reserve in Florida. 

A Grand Teton Park Ranger told DailyMail.com, ‘there is a group of park rangers that is searching for Gabby Petito in the backcountry of the park.

‘This is the park’s elite search and rescue unit.

‘I believe there may also be a search going on in a remote area of Yellowstone National Park.’ 

Petito, the 22-year-old ‘van-life’ girl, has been missing since the end of August 24.

Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, was out in Wyoming on Wednesday as Grand Teton Park Rangers prepared to look for the missing woman

North Port Police and the FBI confirmed they are searching for Laundrie (pictured with Petito), who was reportedly last seen by his family Tuesday and was wearing a hiking bag

North Port Police and the FBI confirmed they are searching for Laundrie (pictured with Petito), who was reportedly last seen by his family Tuesday and was wearing a hiking bag

Police began the search at the Grand Teton National Park on Friday

Police began the search at the Grand Teton National Park on Friday

The park covers more than 310,000 acres of land in the Wyoming wilderness

The park covers more than 310,000 acres of land in the Wyoming wilderness

Authorities believe that Petito’s last known location was in or around the Grand Teton National Park.

The park itself spans more than 310,000 acres and 485 square miles the backcountry consists of several hundred square miles on the west side of the park, it’s a hike- in area only.

Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, told DailyMail.com, that they are confidant she made it to the area but aren’t sure where she may have ended up camping at.

‘Members of search unit at the park can be air lifted to various remote areas for a search,’ added the ranger. ‘They don’t tell us specifics they sort of do what they do.’

DailyMail.com located an account on thedyrt.com for Gabby and Brian V. that was last updated on July 14, 2021. 

On the list are several dispersed campsites in the Grand Teton/Jackson area which are often free for stays up to 14 days in some place.

DailyMail.com went to several of these campsites which were in remotes areas near the park- off the grid.

Cellular phone service was spotty and the sheer remoteness of the area, one could easily disappear in without a trace.

In one dispersed campsite Dailymail.com just arrived at minutes after a grizzly was observed at the side of the road digging up an animal it had previously buried.

Grizzly bears aren’t the only predators Petito would face out in the wilderness, there are red foxes, coyotes, bobcats and cougars that roam the park.

A search party of about 30 officers have gathered to search the Carlton Reserves for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of the missing 'van-life girl' Gabby Petito

A search party of about 30 officers have gathered to search the Carlton Reserves for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of the missing ‘van-life girl’ Gabby Petito

The Florida wildlife area covers a heavy forested area and swamplands

The Florida wildlife area covers a heavy forested area and swamplands 

Northport Officers and FBI agents are searching throughout the Carlton Reserves

Northport Officers and FBI agents are searching throughout the Carlton Reserves

This comes as police and FBI begin searching a Florida wildlife reserve for vanished Brian Laundrie, Petito’s fiancé who is a key witness to her disappearance. 

North Port Police department said ‘The North Point Police Department, FBI and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reverse for Brian Laundrie. 

North Port police tweeted a photo of the search parties massing in the park, with at least 30 people present. 

Laundrie’s family says he entered the area earlier this week. 

The T. Mabry Carlton Reserve covers nearly 25,000 acres and is 15 miles from the Laundrie home in North Port. It has 80 miles of equestrian, hiking and biking trails. 

North Port Police communications chief Josh Taylor told Dailymail.com, ‘That reserve covers a massive, swampland.

‘There are no more updates yet, but we will be releasing information as and when there is something to report,’ Taylor added. 

Gabby Petito's mom Nicole Schmidt (pictured this week at a press conference) has slammed her boyfriend Brian Laundrie saying 'he's not missing, he's hiding' after the person of interest in her daughter's disappearance vanished

Gabby Petito’s mom Nicole Schmidt (pictured this week at a press conference) has slammed her boyfriend Brian Laundrie saying ‘he’s not missing, he’s hiding’ after the person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance vanished

Petito’s mother has slammed her boyfriend Brian Laundrie saying ‘he’s not missing, he’s hiding’ after his attorney said the man now named a person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance hasn’t been seen since Tuesday.

Petito’s mom Nichole Schmidt reacted angrily to the news that Laundrie had vanished and suggested he is on the run, following a fraught week where she has issued several public pleas asking him and his family to cooperate with investigators. 

‘He’s not missing, he’s hiding!’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘Gaby is missing!’ 

North Port Police and the FBI confirmed they are searching for Laundrie, whose family say they last saw him Tuesday wearing a hiking bag. 

Laundrie’s family did not tell authorities he was missing for three days.  

No further information on when or where he was seen has been given. 

Police said the Laundrie family called the FBI Friday night to talk about their son’s disappearance, describing their frustration that this was the first time they had been willing to speak with investigators in detail amid the search for Petito. 

Police are seen with evidence bags at the home of Brian Laundrie Friday - the boyfriend of missing 'van-life' woman Gabby Petito

Police are seen with evidence bags at the home of Brian Laundrie Friday – the boyfriend of missing ‘van-life’ woman Gabby Petito 

Cops arrive Friday and enter the home after Laundrie's parents informed investigators their son had vanished

Cops arrive Friday and enter the home after Laundrie’s parents informed investigators their son had vanished 

Two cops were seen searching a car which has been parked on the driveway of the home

Two cops were seen searching a car which has been parked on the driveway of the home 

‘We understand the community’s frustration, we are frustrated too,’ police said Friday. 

‘For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s Fiancé Gabby Petito. 

‘Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.’

North Port Police said the department and the FBI are currently working a multiple missing person investigation.

They issued a description of Laundrie as a’ white male, 5’8 160lbs, brown eyes, short brown hair, trimmed facial hair, last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.’ 

Laundrie’s attorney told ABC 7 News Friday afternoon the 23-year-old had gone missing and that investigators were trying to locate both him and Petito – who was last seen on August 24 during the couple’s cross-country trip in a campervan.  

Police were seen at Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, on Friday with evidence bags.

His attorney said they were removing items from the house in order to assist with the search for Laundrie. 

‘Be advised, the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown,’ he told ABC7.  

‘The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian.’ 

Police reiterated Friday that although Laundrie is a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, he is not wanted for any crime.  

Video surfaced of four police officers entering home on Friday afternoon after being let in by an unidentified family member.

After more than two and a half hours at the home, all four officers left in their black Dodge Caravan with none of the Laundrie family members in tow.   

Police arrive with evidence bags at the North Port, Florida home of Brian Laundrie on Friday

Police arrive with evidence bags at the North Port, Florida home of Brian Laundrie on Friday

One cop is seen searching the trunk of the vehicle as part of their probe into Petito's disappearance

One cop is seen searching the trunk of the vehicle as part of their probe into Petito’s disappearance 

At one point one of the officers exited the home and retrieved what appeared to be an evidence bag from his police cruiser before returning inside

At one point one of the officers exited the home and retrieved what appeared to be an evidence bag from his police cruiser before returning inside

As they arrived protestors outside the home were heard yelling: ‘Bring Gabby home!’ 

A man on a megaphone shouted ‘Where’s Gabby, Brian?’ repeatedly, joined by others who crowded the Laundrie’s front yard recording the police entering the home. 

‘We’re out here, Laundrie family, we’re out here, we’ll be out here everyday!’ the man on the megaphone yelled towards the home. 

At one point one of the officers exited the home and retrieved what appeared to be an evidence bag from his police cruiser before returning inside 

North Port police tweeted they were called to the home ‘at the request’ of the family, but that they are ‘not speaking’ to Brian.   

About an hour after first entering the home, two officers came out and opened up a silver convertible Ford Mustang in the driveway which is understood to belong to the family. It has been there most of this week.   

They opened the trunk and also delved inside the vehicle after opening the driver side door for a very quick search before the officers went back in the house. 

In an attempt to calm the rowdy group in front of the home, North Port police deputy chief Chris Morales stepped on to the lawn and addressed the crowd, saying: ‘This is not helping. Please keep it down. I ask you to have courtesy for the neighbors.’ 

About an hour after first entering the home, two officers came out and opened up a silver convertible Ford Mustang in the driveway which is understood to belong to the family

About an hour after first entering the home, two officers came out and opened up a silver convertible Ford Mustang in the driveway which is understood to belong to the family

Protestors gathered outside the Laundrie home with banners Friday demanding justice for Petito

Protestors gathered outside the Laundrie home with banners Friday demanding justice for Petito

Some were heard yelling: 'Bring Gabby home!' with one man on a megaphone shouting 'Where's Gabby, Brian?'

Some were heard yelling: ‘Bring Gabby home!’ with one man on a megaphone shouting ‘Where’s Gabby, Brian?’

People crowded the Laundrie's front yard calling on Laundrie to 'prove your innocence'

People crowded the Laundrie’s front yard calling on Laundrie to ‘prove your innocence’

He added: ‘Please respect the peace. You guys can be here but respect the peace,’ he added, but was drowned down at one point by chants of ‘where’s the respect of Gabby?’

Police officially named Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in their inquiry into Petito’s mystery disappearance this week as he refuses to cooperate with investigators and has lawyered up.  

On Friday, Utah authorities said they determined there is no connection between Gabby’s missing person cases and the double murder of a newlywed couple found dead just outside Moab, Fox News reported. 

Petito passed through Moab with Laudrie before he drove back to Florida without her.

‘It has been determined that the Gabby Petito missing person case is not related to the double-homicide case involving Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte,’ Grand County Sheriff Steven White said in a statement Friday afternoon. 

Petito was last seen on August 24 leaving a hotel with Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the couple’s cross-country campervan trip which they started early July.  

A map shows the last known movements of Petito and Laundrie along their cross-country road trip which began July 2

A map shows the last known movements of Petito and Laundrie along their cross-country road trip which began July 2

The following day she made her final call to her mom, telling her she and Laundrie had traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She was reported missing by her family on September 11 after they hadn’t heard from her in 13 days.    

Meanwhile, Laundrie returned to the couple’s home in North Port, Florida, on September 1 with the van but without Petito, police said. 

He repeatedly ignored Petito’s family’s requests for help and refused to speak to cops. 

Laundrie’s attorney Steven P. Bertolino addressed his decision to stay silent in a statement earlier this week, saying his client isn’t speaking to police or the public ‘on the advice of counsel’ because ‘intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focus their attention on in cases like this.’ 

Meanwhile, Petito’s family issued several public pleas for the Laundries to work with authorities in their efforts to bring their daughter home.

On Thursday, new bodycam footage emerged showing police being called to an incident involving the young couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 – 13 days before Petito was last heard from.  

Police released body camera footage police of an incident involving the two in Moab, Utah on August 12. A witness had called 911 after seeing the couple fighting

Police released body camera footage police of an incident involving the two in Moab, Utah on August 12. A witness had called 911 after seeing the couple fighting

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito 'was trying to get the keys from me' and 'hit me with her phone'

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’

New bodycam footage emerged Wednesday showing police being called to an incident involving the couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 - 13 days before Petito was last heard from. A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car

New bodycam footage emerged Wednesday showing police being called to an incident involving the couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 – 13 days before Petito was last heard from. A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car

In the video, an emotional Petito is seen with tears streaming down her face telling officers the couple ‘have been fighting all morning’ and admitting that she slapped him.  

Petito says she suffers from OCD and anxiety, with both her and Laundrie saying she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip. 

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’.

When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation. 

The cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’ and say they are separating the couple for the night.  

The incident report says officers were called near the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab on August 12 around 4:30pm for a ‘possible domestic violence’ incident involving the couple.

The report, released by the Moab Police Department on Wednesday, documented that the couple admitted they had been going through ‘issues’ over the last couple days.    

22-year-old Gabby Petito, who has not been heard from since August 30 while she was on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiancé (couple pictured kissing)

22-year-old Gabby Petito, who has not been heard from since August 30 while she was on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiancé (couple pictured kissing)

According to Petito’s best friend, while Laundrie presents himself as a sweet and caring guy, he is actually jealous and controlling.  

 In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Rose Davis said Laundrie allegedly went so far as to hide Gabby’s ID once so that she couldn’t meet up with her at a bar, trigging a violent episode similar to the one police investigated weeks before her disappearance.

‘Brian took her ID just so she wouldn’t be able to come out with me,’ she told DailyMail.com on Friday.

‘He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these ‘episodes,’ where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep.

‘Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.’

TikTok user claims she picked up missing ‘van-life girl’ Gabby Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie as he hiked ALONE five days after she was last seen in public and one day before sending her final text

A TikToker from Wisconsin has claimed she picked up Brian Laundrie, the person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance, as he was hitchhiking alone five days after his girlfriend went missing and one day before she last texted her mother.

In the video posted to the social media site Miranda Baker said she and her boyfriend were at Grand Teton National Park in Colter Bay, Wyoming, on August 29 when Laundrie approached the couple and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm.

‘He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, ya know, ‘hop in’ and he hopped in the back of my Jeep,’ Baker explained.

She noted Laundrie, 23, was wearing ‘a backpack, a long sleeve, pants and hiking boots’ and said that before he got in the car he  offered to pay the couple $200 to give him a 10-mile ride. 

‘So that was kind of weird,’ she said. Baker spoke hours before 

'He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, ya know, "hop in" and he hopped in the back of my Jeep,' Baker explained

She called the entire interaction with Laundrie 'a weird situation'

‘He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, ya know, ‘hop in’ and he hopped in the back of my Jeep,’ Baker explained. She called the entire interaction with Brian Laundrie ‘a weird situation’

Baker supposedly picked up Laundrie (left), the person of interest in Gabby Petito's (right) disappearance, as he was hitchhiking alone five days after his girlfriend went missing and one day before she last texted her mother

Baker supposedly picked up Laundrie (left), the person of interest in Gabby Petito’s (right) disappearance, as he was hitchhiking alone five days after his girlfriend went missing and one day before she last texted her mother

Bake noted Laundrie, 23, was wearing 'a backpack, a long sleeve, pants and hiking boots' and said that before he got in the car he offered to pay the couple $200 to give him a 10-mile ride

 Bake noted Laundrie, 23, was wearing ‘a backpack, a long sleeve, pants and hiking boots’ and said that before he got in the car he offered to pay the couple $200 to give him a 10-mile ride

Baker explained that her, her boyfriend and Laundrie ‘then proceeded to make small talk’ and found out he had been camping for multiple days without his fiancée.

‘He did say he had a fiancée and that she was working on their social media page back at their van,’ Baker said.

In a later video she added that Laundrie supposedly told her he and Petito, 22, were not camping on a regulated campsite through the national park. ‘They were camping basically out in the middle of nowhere along Snake River,’ she said.

Baker recounted the alleged story Laundrie told her and her boyfriend: ‘This is key information. He said that he had hiked for days along Snake River but looking at his backpack, it wasn’t full.

‘And he said all he had was a tarp to sleep on. And, if you’d think you’re going camping for days on end you’d want food and a tent and he had none of that.’

She added: ‘He had scruff but he didn’t look dirty for someone who was camping for multiple days. He didn’t look dirty, he didn’t smell dirty, so that part was kind of weird.’

Then, when Baker told Laundrie they were driving to Jackson Hole he supposedly ‘freaked out’ and asked them to pull over and said: ‘Nope, I need to get out right now.’ 

Petito set out on a cross-country trip July 2 with her boyfriend in the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van. Brian posted this photo of the couple on Instagram on July 16

Petito set out on a cross-country trip July 2 with her boyfriend in the couple’s 2012 Ford Transit van. Brian posted this photo of the couple on Instagram on July 16

Baker said they pulled over at the Jackson Dam in Grand Teton National Park, which she noted was not very far from where they originally picked Laundrie up.

He allegedly hurried out of the car and told the couple he would find someone else to hitchhike with. 

‘We dropped him off at 6.09pm on August 29,’ Baker said, adding that she hopes her videos would find someone who could also help solve the case and find Petito.

She called the entire interaction with Laundrie ‘a weird situation’. 

In her latest video she addressed skeptics and said that the story she detailed in the previous videos posted to TikTok she also told detectives and the FBI. ‘I am actively in contact with these people,’ she said.

Her allegations come five days after Petito was last seen in public – on August 24 – when she and Laundrie checked out of a Fairfield Inn hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On August 29 Baker only saw Laundrie. One day later Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt received a curious text from her daughter that read: ‘No service in Yosemite.’

The mother refused to disclose the contents of her daughter’s texts but told DailyMail.com: ‘That text was NOT from Gabby I know it!’

She believes Laundrie may have sent the message from her phone possibly to mislead her family and investigators as to her whereabouts.

Laundrie was named a person of interest and is refusing to cooperate with cop. The couple with their campervan

Laundrie was named a person of interest and is refusing to cooperate with cop. The couple with their campervan

Attorney Richard Stafford on Thursday read out an emotional letter from Petito's family begging the Laundries to cooperate, saying 'we believe you know the location of where Brian left Gabby'

Attorney Richard Stafford on Thursday read out an emotional letter from Petito’s family begging the Laundries to cooperate, saying ‘we believe you know the location of where Brian left Gabby’

Laundrie returned home to Florida from the couple’s road trip alone on September 1 – two days after hitchhiking with Baker and 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing.

If the couple were in fact together in Yosemite on August 30, that would mean Brian drove over 3,000 miles within two days to arrive in Florida on September 1.

Now police have officially named Brian Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in their inquiry into her mystery disappearance as he refuses to cooperate, although they say there is no evidence any crime has been committed. 

Cops in North Port, Florida, said: ‘Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case. As of now, Brian has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details.’  

Brian’s family refused to let authorities speak to their son when the 2012 Ford van was seized from their property late on September 11. 

Most recently, Brian Laundrie’s sister broke the Laundrie family silence about the disappearance of her brother’s girlfriend and said her and her family ‘obviously want Gabby to be found safe’.

 ‘All I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding,’ she said in an interview with ABC News.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk