Photo via The New York Times, Screenshots from the TikTok accounts of Haley Toumanian and Paris Campbell
On July 2nd, YouTuber Gabby Petito, 22, left Blue Point, New York with her fiance Brian Laundrie for a four month cross country road trip. During their trip Petito shared updates and videos of their travels to Instagram and Youtube. On September 1st, Laundrie returned home alone, 10 days later Petito’s family reported her missing. Authorities have named Laundrie as the sole person of interest in the case and have issued a warrant for his arrest.
The search for Petito has turned into a social media sensation. #GabbyPetito has more than 500 million views on TikTok. Developments in the Petito case have been investigated by internet sleuths and amateur TikTok and Instagram detectives. Posts sharing updates, evidence, and theories about the Petito case have been circulating around the internet turning up leads for police.
Travel vloggers Jenn and Kyle Bethune were one several social media users tagged in a post asking those who had visited Grand Teton park, Petito’s last know whereabouts, to share any information they may have had. After reviewing their GroPro footage from the park, the Bethunes identified the white van Petito and Laundrie were driving in one of their videos. The couple shared the footage with the FBI before posting it online.
Petito’s remains were found in Grand Teton Park, Wyoming, close to the spot where footage of the couple’s van was filmed. Authorities are now on the search for Laundrie after he was also reported missing on September 17th and believed to be on the run.