Manhunt for woman, 22, who vanished on ‘van-life’ cross country trip with fiancé

Police in the US are investigating the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman who went missing while on a van road trip with her fiancé.

Gabby Petito was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in late August before communication with her family suddenly stopped.

Petito had been traveling with her fiancé Brian Laundrie in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates, which authorities say has been recovered.

The Daily Mail has reported that Laundrie has returned to his home in Florida and has hired a lawyer while refusing to cooperate with authorities, her family say.

According to Newsday, Petito’s mum Nicole Schmidt last FaceTimed her daughter around August 23 or 24.

Although she received texts from Petito until August 30, she is unsure whether her daughter was the one sending them.

Laundrie and Petito had been producing a web series called ‘Nomadik Static’, sharing their adventures with the world.

Photographs from their journey are also visible on an Instagram account called bizarre_design_, which appears to be owned by Laundrie.

On July 5, he tagged Petito and wrote: “Downsizing our life to fit into this itty bitty van was the best decision we’ve ever made. With the limited space we wanted to take advantage of every inch, while also keeping everything minimalist.

“Definitely felt inspired by a lot of other #vanlifers on @youtube but we came up with a completely original layout. Barely spent anything on the conversation and couldn’t be happier with the outcome. #vantour coming soon! Sacrificing space to wake up in nature everyday has been no sacrifice at all.

“Cross country road trip with @gabspetito”

Petito also posts about the trip on her Instagram account with the last one posted on August 26 with the caption ‘Happy Halloween’ and an image of her holding a knitted pumpkin.

Since Petito's disappearance, a GoFundMe page has been launched by her family with over $8,000 raised so far.

A social media campaign has also been launched on Facebook called 'Find Gabby', which is being used to report any sightings.

In a statement Suffolk County police said: “Gabrielle Petito was traveling in a white, 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03 with a companion when she stopped communicating with friends and family.

“Petito was reported missing to the Suffolk County Police Department by her family on September 11 at approximately 6:55 p.m. According to family, they were last in contact with her during the last week of August. Prior to the last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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“Petito, 22, of Blue Point, is described as a white female, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.” The van she was traveling in has been recovered.”

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