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Mystery deepens over woman who disappeared in Utah during cross-country trip

missing woman
Posted at 9:45 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 11:45:14-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Gabby Petito, 22, set out on a road trip with her boyfriend in early July to tour National Parks, but she disappeared in late August. Now, her mother is pleading for help.

Nicole Schmidt, Petito's mother, told Fox News that the last verbal conversation she had with her daughter was on Aug. 25.

"I don't know if she left Grand Teton or not," Schmidt told Fox News on Sunday. "I did receive a text from her on the 27th and the 30th, but I don't know if it was technically her or not because it was just a text. I didn't verbally speak to her."

Schmidt said Petito and her boyfriend started their road trip in early July, traveling first from Florida to New York. They left New York and eventually ended up in Salt Lake City in August but left the city amid heavy wildfire smoke.

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The 2012 Ford white converted camper van that Petito and her boyfriend were traveling in.

The couple stopped in Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 25, Petito's last known location, before a planned trip to Yellowstone, Schmidt said.

They were traveling in a 2012 Ford white van that was converted into a camper.

"I can't say much, but she's no longer with the van," Schmidt told Fox News of her daughter. "I don't want to say anything more than that, but for people looking for her, I want them to look for her now, not look for that van anymore."

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Detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department in New York, Petito's hometown, are investigating her disappearance. The white van has been recovered since Petito went missing, according to a spokesperson for the department.

A spokesperson for the Jackson Police Department said that an "attempt to locate" call was recently filed for Petito.

The couple had started a YouTube channel to showcase their road trip called "Nomadic Statik."

Petito's boyfriend could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.

On Facebook, Gabby's father, Joseph Petito said her boyfriend returned home to Florida alone, obtained a lawyer and was not cooperating with police.

Petito is 5 foot 5 inches and has blond hair and blue eyes. She has a triangle tattoo with flowers on her left arm and a "Let it be" tattoo on her right arm.

Anyone who has seen Gabby or has any information on the case should contact the Suffolk County Police Department at 1-800-220-8477.

This story was originally published by Jack Helean on Scripps station KSTU in Salt Lake City.