Long Island native Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, age 22, who was last known to be in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in late August, was reported missing to Suffolk County Police on Saturday, Sept. 11, by her mother after last being heard from on Monday, Aug. 30.
Her boyfriend and traveling companion Brian Laundrie, age 23, was named a person of interest in the investigation by authorities in North Port, Florida, where the couple temporarily lived and where he returned with Petito's white van in which they were traveling on Wednesday, Sept. 1, without Gabby.
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In the video released by the Moab Police Department in Utah (which can be viewed above), the two can be seen being stopped on Thursday, Aug. 12, after a concerned citizen called the police after witnessing a fight between the two, allegedly started by Petito.
While talking with police in a more than hourlong video, a distraught and crying Gabby tells officers she has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and the two had gotten into a fight after he locked the van to prevent her from getting back inside.
Police say they then discovered that Gabby had attacked Brian when he would not return her cell phone and scratched him in the face and arms during the fight.
Officers separated the two and give Gabby the van for the night and put Brian in a hotel room.
Police did not say what happened to the two after the night was over.
Two weeks after the video was shot, Gabby stopped communicating with her family.
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The video puts a different light on the seemingly idyllic relationship that is shown in Gabby's YouTube video posted on her Instagram account in which the two can be seen exploring the West and kissing, and eating, and laughing.
But police North Port, who is the lead agency on finding the missing Long Island woman, said the video adds little to help find her.
Since returning home to Florida, Laundrie has refused to speak with the police or the FBI regarding Gabby's whereabouts.
He has obtained an attorney near the Suffolk County hometown of Blue Point he shares with Petito to represent him but has not said a single word as to where he left Gabby or where she might be.
The attorney, Steve Bertolino, based in East Islip, told Daily Voice said his client will remain silent on the issue on the advice of counsel.
Gabby's parents, who said on Thursday, Sept. 16, they could not eat or sleep and "their lives are falling apart," are frantic for Laundrie to speak.
In a letter to his parents delivered on Thursday, Gabby's parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt beg them to have Brian tell officials where he last saw Gabby.
"We believe you know the location where Brian left Gabby. We beg you to tell us. As a parent how could you let us go through this pain and not help us," they said.
In the meantime, Gabby's stepfather, Jim Schmidt has traveled to Wyoming to help search for his stepdaughter.
He also is demanding that Laundrie at least let officials know if they are looking the right area for Gabby.
"Please, if you or your family has any decency left, please tell us where Gabby is located. Tell us if we are even looking in the right place," he said.
North Port police said at this point the case is considered a missing person case but there is no evidence of criminality. They added that Laundrie is a person of interest.
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips. 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
This continues to be a breaking story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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