“We have no idea who deleted Gabby’s Instagram account,” the family’s lawyer told our sister channel WABC-TV on Wednesday. “We reached out to Instagram and the FBI to let them know it had been deleted.”
It is still unclear what happened to the account.
Petito, who lives in Florida but is originally from Long Island in New York City, was traveling across the country to Oregon with Laundrie when she stopped communicating with friends and family.
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Her mother, Nichole Schmidt, said the last video chat she had with her daughter was on August 24 or 25, although they texted for a few days.
She has since said that she doesn’t know if it was her daughter who actually sent these texts.
“We don’t eat, we don’t sleep, we just actively seek it out,” she said.
Before the last communication, Petito was reportedly in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Her family reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department on September 11 at around 6:55 p.m.
Police in Moab, Utah, responded to an “incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito” on August 12, but Chief Bret Edge said there was not enough evidence to lay charges.
“Neither Brian nor Gabrielle was the rapporteur,” he said. “Officers conducted an investigation and determined that there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.”
The van was picked up from the couple’s home in North Port, Florida, and Laundrie apparently returned alone.
Laundrie’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, issued a statement Tuesday on behalf of his client.
“It is an extremely difficult time for the Petito family and the Laundrie family,” he said. “I understand that a search has been arranged for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family, we hope that the search for Miss Petito will be successful and that Miss Petito will be reunited with his family. On the advice of the lawyer, the Laundrie family remains in the background at this point and will have no further comments. “
Petito’s family issued the following terse statement in response, claiming Laundrie “hampered research efforts”
“The Schmidt family and Petito are going through the worst times of their lives,” the statement said. “Their twenty-two year old beautiful daughter is missing and the only person who can help find Gabby refuses to help her. Brian Laundrie was traveling with Gabby in the Grand Teton – Yellowstone area. They were traveling together in the 2012 Ford Transit van. of Gabby. This is where we think Gabby was last seen. Brian refuses to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian also refuses to explain why he left Gabby on her own and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers. The Schmidt and Petito family are begging the Laundrie family not to “stay in the background” but to help find who Brian called the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he’s the only person who knows Gabby’s whereabouts? The Schmidt and Petito family beg Brian to come forward and tell us at least if we are looking in the right one area. “
The couple had documented their trip on YouTube and were due to arrive in Portland in October.
“We were excited for them,” Schmidt said. “I believe she is in danger because she is not in contact with us. She might be alone somewhere. She might be stranded somewhere in the wild and she needs help.”
Petito is described as a white female, measuring around 5 feet 5 inches and 110 pounds.
She has blonde hair, blue eyes and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that says “Let it be”.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about Petito’s disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, and the North Port Police Department is actively assisting in this case and can be reached at 941-429- 7382. “
In addition, the FBI Field Office in Tampa is participating in this investigation. Tips can also be called at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitted to Tips.FBI.gov.
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