22-year-old woman originally from Long Island goes missing while traveling in Wyoming

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021
22-year-old Long Island native goes missing in Wyoming
Gabrielle Petito, 22, originally of Blue Point on Long Island, disappeared while traveling in Wyoming.

BLUE POINT, Long Island (WABC) -- A 22-year-old woman originally from Long Island disappeared while traveling in Wyoming, and her desperate family is pleading for help about her whereabouts.

Gabrielle Petito, whose family is from Blue Point, was traveling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03 with her boyfriend when she stopped communicating with friends and family.

"We don't eat, we don't sleep, we're just actively looking for her," her mother, Nicole Schmidt, said.

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Schmidt said Petito and her boyfriend left Long Island on July 2 for a cross country trip. The two, she said, had been living in North Port, Florida, for the last two and a half years.

The couple had been documenting their trip on YouTube, and they were set to arrive in Portland, Oregon, in October.

"We were excited for them," Schmidt said.

She said the last video chat she had with her daughter was August 24 or 25, though they exchanged text messages for a few days following.

The last text she received was August 30.

Prior to the last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Petito was reported missing to the Suffolk County Police Department by her family on September 11 at approximately 6:55 p.m.

Eyewitness News has learned Petito's boyfriend is not missing, but authorities will not discuss his whereabouts. The van was recovered in Florida.

"I believe she's in danger because she's not in touch with us," Schmidt said. "She could be alone somewhere. She could be stranded somewhere in the wilderness and she needs help."

Schmidt said she believes her daughter will come home.

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Petito is described as a white female, approximately 5-foot-5 and 110 pounds.

She has blonde hair, blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads "Let it be."

Detectives are asking anyone with information on Petito's disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, and the North Port Police Department is actively assisting in this case.

"We currently have no definitive information that a crime took place here in North Port," the department said in a statement. "With that said, the circumstances are odd. The vehicle she was traveling in was located here in North Port. So we are actively gathering local details and any evidence to assist in finding needed answers. If you know anything about this case please contact us at 941-429-7382."

In addition, the FBI Tampa Field Office is assisting with this investigation. Tips can also be called into 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitted to Tips.FBI.gov.


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