Gabby Petito’s van spotted in stranger’s footage at Grand Teton National Park, family believes
The family of Gabby Petito said Sunday the FBI is aware of a video that shows a white van at a campground in Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 27.
The van appears to be the converted camper van that Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, had been using to travel across the country and visit U.S. west national parks in the weeks leading up to Petito’s disappearance. Petito hasn’t been seen or heard from since the end of August. Her family officially reported her missing on Sept. 11, days after Laundrie returned home to Florida in the van without her.
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The last known place Petito and Laundrie were publicly known to be was leaving Utah on Aug. 24 and heading to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said she last saw her daughter over Facetime around that day.
The next day, Aug. 25, Schmidt said she spoke to Petito on the phone. Petito said they had stopped in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before a planned trip to Yellowstone.
"I don't know if she left Grand Teton or not," Schmidt later told FOX News. "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."
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On Sept. 18, the FBI field office in Denver said that agents were conducting ground surveys at Grand Teton National Park with help from the National Park Service and local law enforcement agencies.
Investigators were specifically looking in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, which the FBI said was remaining closed to the public until the surveys were complete.
Later that day, a video was posted to social media that appears to show Petito and Laundrie’s van in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area on Aug. 27. A family combing through their recorded footage spotted the white van.
"We were editing our sunday video, tonight and we were looking at footage from on August 27th, 2021 around 6:00pm to 6:30pm in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping," the caption reads on YouTube.
"We had passed by a white van with Florida Plates. We noticed it because we are originally from Florida and wanted to stop and say hi.
"When we passed the van, all the lights were off and it didn't look like anyone was there. We ended up leaving because we couldn't find a spot," the caption continued.
"PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! If you were in the area around this time, check ALL of your footage! You could have some video of her van!!!!!!"
The FBI has also issued a call to anyone who was in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between Aug. 27-30 to speak with them if they believe they may have had contact with Petito or Laundrie, or if they may have seen the van.
The 2012 Ford Transit had a variety of stickers on the back with a Florida plate QFTG03.
The Find Gabby Facebook page, which is run by Petito’s family, said early Sunday that they have seen the video and so has the FBI.
"We believe this is the van for multiple reasons," her family wrote. "Please do not clog up the tip line with the same video. This is in the hands of the right people. Thank you so much, this is exactly why we are asking people to review older photos and video."
RELATED: Utah police report shows possible mental health concerns, tension between Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie
Meanwhile, in Florida, a separate search has been underway for Laundrie, who hasn’t been seen himself since Sept. 14. He’s been named a person of interest in the case.
Authorities went to the Laundrie home the night of Friday, Sept. 17 to speak with the family at their request but were still not speaking with Brian, whom authorities have said has been uncooperative. Around 9 p.m. ET, Laundrie's family attorney confirmed that his whereabouts were unknown. Laundrie's family told officers that they haven't seen him since Tuesday.
On Saturday, police in Florida began searching a vast wildlife reserve near the Gulf Coast for the 23-year-old. The search resumed Sunday.
RELATED: With Gabby Petito still missing, search resumes in Florida for Brian Laundrie
Florida authorities and FBI have
Anyone with information on Laundrie or Petito’s whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-Call-FBI.
The white van has been impounded and processed by local investigators and the FBI.
This story was reported from Detroit.