The mystery thickens.
The last message a desperate mother received from her missing 22-year-old daughter was just four words, a family attorney says: “No service in Yosemite.”
That message from Long Island native Gabby Petito’s phone came on Aug. 30. And her mother, Nicole Schmidt, still doesn’t even know for sure who texted it.
Her daughter, the exuberant young blond woman from Long Island’s Blue Point, vanished during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, at some point around the time the couple traveled through Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park as part of a months-long “van journey” adventure, Petito’s family believes.
Petito’s family reported her missing on Saturday but they hadn’t heard from her in three weeks, officials have said. The converted camper Petito and Laundrie had been traveling in returned to Florida, Laundrie apparently with it, two weeks ago.
Laundrie was alone. Forensic analysis of the van as well as phone data is ongoing.
Investigators in North Port, Florida, where Petito lived with Laundrie and his parents, say Laundrie is not cooperating with their probe into Petito’s disappearance. A day ago, they labeled him a person of interest in the case.
The FBI is now involved in the case, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said at a news briefing on Thursday. He said his investigators are working around the clock with federal agents as well as on their own as they try to get the family answers.
“She maintained regular contact with family members during her travels,” which started in June, Garrison said, “but communication abruptly stopped around the end of August. Gabby is a vibrant 22-year-old with a love for life and adventure. She’s a daughter, sister, and granddaughter, was excited to share her trek with others on social media and with her family.”