11:44 AM PDT, September 21, 2021
Search warrant documents reveal eerie text messages sent from Gabby Petito’s cellphone leading up to her disappearance, with a final message referencing “Stan,” her grandfather, a name she would never use, according to Petito’s mother, and signs of a troubling relationship, according to a published report.
The family last spoke with Petito on August 25 and Saturday will be one month since Petito vanished without a trace, as the search resumes in a new area of the swampy Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature reserve for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who has been MIA for nearly a week, The Washington Post reported, and named a “person of interest in the case,” by police.
On August 27, Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, told Detective Daniel Alix from the North Port Police Department that she received an “odd text” from her daughter. The text message read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” according to the search warrant filed in the Sarasota County Circuit Court on Friday, Fox News reported.
Schmidt said that the reference to Stan was regarding her daughter’s grandfather and told detectives that her daughter never called him ‘Stan.’ And, then told detectives “she was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter,” according to the search warrant obtained by Inside Edition Digital.
This was the last communication anyone had with Petito. Her cellphone was no longer operational and Petito stopped posting anything on social media about their trip, the warrant states.
Petito’s family told the detective that this was not normal behavior for their daughter and that they became more worried about her, the warrant states.
Schmidt also told authorities Petito began to describe how there “appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” according to the search warrant.
“I believed the first couple of days when I wasn’t getting any responses I believed she was in a place with no service,” Schmidt said during a television interview, Fox reported. “It was day 8 and 9 and I was getting concerned she couldn’t be off the grid that long.”
Schmidt later told authorities that on August 30, a text came in from her daughter that allegedly stated, “No service in Yosemite.” Schmidt said that she didn’t believe that the text was actually written by her daughter, the news outlet reported
On Monday, the FBI and local law enforcement had a “court-authorized search warrant.” The text was one of a number of grounds law enforcement claimed it had for probable cause to conduct the search at the North Port, Florida, the home that Laundrie and Petito shared with Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta.
During the search, Laundrie’s parents spoke to the authorities before returning inside their home. Officials retrieved several boxes from the home. A silver Ford Mustang believed to be Laundrie’s vehicle was also being towed out of the driveway.
Later that day, North Port police also searched the home of Laundrie’s sister, Cassie,
One of the items officials retrieved from the home was a black Western Digital external hard drive that “may contain viable digital forensic data that could assist in the location of said missing endangered subject,” the document states.
On Sunday, human remains were discovered at a campsite at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming consistent with the description of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, Charles Jones, FBI Denver’s supervisory senior resident agent in Wyoming, announced during a Sunday evening press conference.
Jones said the cause of death has not been determined at this time. An autopsy is scheduled on Tuesday to determine if the remains are the young woman.
Petito, an aspiring “van life” travel blogger and Laundrie left New York on July 2 for what was supposed to be a four-month cross-country road trip visiting national parks in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The couple shared their travel adventures on their personal Instagrams and a travel account under the name “Nomadic Statik.”
On Sept. 11, Petito was reported missing by her family after Laundrie returned to their home in North Port, Florida, a city in Sarasota County about 80 miles south of Tampa without her, according to police, The Washington Post reported.
Petito’s family filed a missing person’s report with police in Suffolk County, NY, where the couple is from, the Post said.
During the search for Petito, Laundrie had suddenly disappeared. Laundrie’s parents told the police on Friday that they had not seen their son since Tuesday.
Authorities said the police and the FBI announced that they were looking for Laundrie in a nature preserve and that their search had concluded for the day with nothing to report, according to the news outlet.
On August 12, a video was taken outside of Arches National Park in Utah after a witness reported the couple arguing at a grocery store and called 911, according to a previously reported Inside Edition Digital story.
Bodycam footage revealed that Petito had been distraught after an argument. She told officers that she had just quit her job to travel cross country to start a travel blog and that she was stressed. And, she told the officer that she had obsessive-compulsive disorder.
She said that they had been arguing all morning and that she was afraid Laundrie was going to drive off and leave her stranded at the grocery store. Petito reportedly scratched Laundrie during the argument, the news outlet reported.
They told police they were still in love, but after all that time together, tension was building until it erupted in tears and shoving. Neither Petito nor Laundrie was charged in the incident.
Prior to Petito’s suspected remains being found, her parents sent out a desperate plea for Laundrie to come forward and speak to the authorities about her disappearance.
Police said Laundrie could potentially hide out in the vast Carlton Reserve “for months’ if he wanted to. The reserve has approximately 80 miles of hiking trails, most of which are currently flooded, the Insider reported.
The Petito family attorney said, “Brian is not missing but rather on the run.” He called it “reprehensible and hypocritical,” that the Laundrie family requested to have the police look for their son but not for Gabby, Fox 13 reported.
On Sunday night, the Laundrie family put out a statement, stating that the news about Gabby is “heartbreaking,” adding that they were praying for her and her family.
Petito and Laundrie, who were both from Long Island, New York, went to the same high school and started dating after, according to Petito’s mother.
Laundrie is described as a white male, 5 foot 8 inches and weighing 160 pounds with brown eyes, very short brown hair, trimmed facial hair. He was last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.
Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.