Authorities searching for missing 22-year-old woman last seen in SLC

Sep 13, 2021, 7:25 AM | Updated: Sep 15, 2021, 12:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials are looking for a missing 22-year-old woman who was last seen traveling through Utah and Wyoming with her boyfriend.

Nichole Schmidt said her daughter, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, left Blue Point, New York, on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend of two years on July 2.

“She wanted to cross the country in the camper van and live the van life and live free. This was her dream,” Schmidt said.

Petito’s parents said the couple documented every step of the way, spending time in Colorado and southern Utah.

“If you look at her Instagram page, you can actually find a lot of evidence of where they were these past few months,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt pointed to her daughter’s Instagram account with posts at Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe

But toward the end of August, the posts started slowing down.

Petito’s father, who lives in Florida, said the couple was in Salt Lake City on Aug. 21. He knows because he placed an Uber Eats order for them.

“There was a power outage. She said she didn’t have WiFi, so I ordered her some food,” Joseph Petito said. “I know it was in Salt Lake City. It was the last time I spoke to her.”

He said the couple didn’t have friends in Salt Lake City but wanted to spend time in the area.

Gabby Petito’s parents said the couple left Salt Lake City for Grand Teton National Park around Aug. 24, where they believe the couple spent no more than two days.

This was also around the last time Petito spoke with her mother over FaceTime.

“She seemed OK to me at the time, other than I don’t know where the relationship was going with the boyfriend,” said Schmidt of the couple possibly going through a rough patch.

Then the details get hazy as Petito’s parents say they’re not sure if she made it to her next destination.

“She was making her way up to Yellowstone,” Schmidt said explaining that after Aug. 24 her communication with Petito grew sporadic and happened only via text.

“The last text I got from her was on Aug. 30. I don’t know if that was her texting me or not,” Schmidt said.

Then Petito stopped responding all together. Schmidt said she initially figured the couple had lost internet reception but late last week, her mother knew something was off.

Petito’s parents said they started reaching out to their local law enforcement agencies in Florida and New York. On Saturday evening, Schmidt said a detective at the Suffolk County Police Department agreed to file a case.

In an email, the Suffolk County Police Department confirmed the van was located but did not specify where. In a press release, the van was described as a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03.

They also declined to provide information on Petito’s boyfriend or his current whereabouts.

A department spokesperson also said the department does not comment on suspects or persons of interest adding, “We are not commenting on who has been spoken to in relation to this investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, or they can submit an online tip through

Petito was described as approximately 5-foot-5, weighing 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.”

Petito’s parents are posting updates on a Facebook page and have started a GoFundMe* page to help with expenses.

Timeline of events

July 2: Gabby Petito leaves New York with her boyfriend of two years heading west. They spend time in Colorado and Southern Utah.

Aug. 12 – 24: Petito and her boyfriend are in Utah.

Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, orders Uber Eats for Gabby Petito. Meal is delivered to Salt Lake City. This is the last time Petito speaks with her father.

Aug. 24: Couple leaves SLC headed for Grand Teton National Park. Mother Nichole Schmidt said they spent one or two days in Wyoming.

Aug. 23 or 24: Petito’s last FaceTime call with her mother. After this point, Schmidt says they “texted a lot.”

Aug. 25: Schmidt says the couple’s van is spotted at Grand Teton National Park.

Aug. 25: Last post on Petito’s Instagram @Gabspetito.

Aug. 25-27: Schmidt says she doesn’t know where Petito is. It is assumed the couple leaves Wyoming headed for Yellowstone National Park, but it is unclear if they made it.

Aug. 27: Petito’s parents say her social media goes completely silent.

Aug. 30: Schmidt gets a text from Petito’s number. She is not sure if it is coming from Petito. After this point, Schmidt says Petito stops replying to her text messages.

Sept. 11: Suffolk County Police Department officially opens an investigation.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Gabby Petito investigation

Gabby Petito (Police photo)...
Paradise Afshar, CNN

Gabby Petito’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate

Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Gabby Petito, has taken legal action against the estate of Brian Laundrie, by filing a complaint in Sarasota County Friday, in which she asks for monetary compensation for the "wrongful death" of her daughter.
9 days ago
FILE: Gabrielle Petito. (Instagram)...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Lifetime to film movie on Gabby Petito murder case in Utah

Lifetime announced plans to film a movie in Utah based on the murder case of Gabby Petito, whose death and disappearance received nationwide attention last year. 
11 days ago
FILE: Gabrielle Petito. (Instagram)...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Lawsuit filed against Brian Laundrie’s parents by Gabby Petito’s parents to go to trial

A lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito that claims Brian Laundrie told his parents he had killed Petito when he returned home alone from their trip will head to trial in 2023.
1 month ago
Gabby Petito (Police photo)...
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press

Gabby Petito’s parents sue Brian Laundrie’s parents over killing

The parents of Gabby Petito claim in a new lawsuit in Florida that Brian Laundrie told his parents he had killed her when he returned home alone from their ill-fated western trip in a converted van. The lawsuit filed Thursday in Sarasota County Circuit Court contends that Laundrie told his parents on Aug. 28 that he had killed Petito, 22, his fiancee of about a year.
2 months ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Brian Laundrie’s full autopsy released to the public

A Florida medical examiner's office has released Brian Laundrie's full autopsy, which confirmed Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last October.
3 months ago
Gabrielle Petito pictured with her boyfriend of two years, Brian Laundrie....
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

FBI provides updated timeline for Petito/Laundrie investigation

The Denver FBI announced a final update in the Gabby Petito investigation Friday including an updated timeline of the investigation. 
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Authorities searching for missing 22-year-old woman last seen in SLC