GABBY PETITO INVESTIGATION

Instagram account of missing woman returns after being deactivated

Sep 15, 2021, 9:12 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 1:45 pm
The Instagram account of Gabrielle Petito, 22, was briefly taken down Wednesday morning....
The Instagram account of Gabrielle Petito, 22, was briefly taken down Wednesday morning.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Instagram account of missing 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito is back online after it was briefly deactivated Wednesday morning.

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said the account was removed in error and has been reinstated.

Family members told KSL’s Garna Mejia they nor the FBI took the account down, and officials with the North Port Police Department in Florida added they did not request a change in the account’s status.

Suffolk County authorities declined to comment while the account was down.

The Instagram account has been key in putting together a preliminary timeline on Petito’s whereabouts during a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Laundrie released a statement through his attorney Tuesday, which said, “This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family.”

Earlier Tuesday, officials with the Moab Police Department said they responded to a 911 call regarding the couple on Aug. 12.

The call was phoned in by a third party, and Chief Bret Edge with the Moab City Police Department said officers investigated and found “insufficient evidence” to make criminal charges.

The department released a report Wednesday afternoon detailing the incident, which officers said would be more accurately described as a “mental/emotional health ‘break’ than domestic assault.”

Laundrie’s attorney said a search for Petito is underway in Grand Teton National Park.

“On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family.”

Petito’s family issued a statement to NBC-affiliate WNBC, begging Laundrie to not “remain in the background” and help find the woman he called the love of his life.

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Instagram account of missing woman returns after being deactivated