The United States has recurring cases of missing persons that keep the whole country tense. It is not uncommon for young women to disappear: like Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old graduate of Mountain Brook High School in Alabama, who disappeared in May 2005 during a class trip to Aruba. At that time, millions of Americans watched their parents and police search on the Caribbean island. Six years later, it was Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old student at Indiana University, who the police were looking for. She had been to a bar in the tranquil university town of Bloomington, south of Chicago, and hadn't come back. Both women were never found.

For the past few weeks, it has been the case of Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito that has preoccupied the country.

The 22-year-old from Blue Point, New York, set out for the west with her fiancé Brian Laundrie in early July.

In a van converted into a camper, the couple wanted to travel through national parks for a few months and record their adventure on social media.

The video “Beginning Our Van Life Journey”, which Petito published on YouTube in August, showed the blogger and her fiancé happy and in love eating sushi in San Francisco, on the beach in Santa Monica and hiking through the California desert.

Last sign of life from Grand Teton National Park

The trip ended with a missing person report. Petito's parents, Nicole Schmidt and Joe Petito, reported to police in Suffolk County north of New York on September 11 that they had not heard from their daughter since August 25. Petito's last sign of life comes from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It turned out that Petito's fiancé Laundrie had returned to his home in North Port, Florida ten days before the ad was posted - with the white camper van but without the Petito. The 23-year-old was silent about Gabby.

“In my experience, the partners of missing persons are often the first on whom the police focus. Any statement my client makes can be used against him, regardless of whether he has anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance, ”Laundrie's lawyer Steven Bertolino tried to justify the silence. As it became known last week, the couple had a heated argument during a stop in Moab, Utah, in mid-August. Passers-by then called the police. The police officer's bodycam footage shows Petito crying in the back seat of a car. Laundrie has bloody scratches on her face, which he explains with fistfights from his fiancée. “Both said they loved each other and did not want to file a complaint. Both said in unison,that Gabby suffers from serious anxiety disorders ”, it says in the police report.  

Suspicion against the fiancé

Meanwhile, many Americans shared the young woman's disappearance on social media and expressed their condolences to the family.

The fact that Petito's fiancé remained silent aroused suspicion against him.

“If your family has any decency, please let us know where Gabby is.

We believe that you know where Brian left Gabby, ”Schmidt and Petito finally appealed to Laundrie's parents a few days ago.

"We just want her to come home."

On Sunday evening, the FBI, police and the National Park Service announced at a press conference in Grand Teton National Park that a body had been found near a campsite. The dead agree "with the description of Gabby Petito", but an autopsy is still pending. “Heartbreaking news. I know that all of America was hoping for a safe and miraculous return of Petitos, ”wrote one user on Twitter, expressing the regret of many Americans.

Meanwhile, Brian Laundrie has surprisingly disappeared. His parents filed a missing person report on Friday after allegedly not seeing him for a few days. The FBI then combed the Carlton nature reserve in the Sarasota district of Florida, one of Laundries' favorite excursion destinations, with drones and sniffer dogs. "Gabby's family want the whole world to know that Brian is not missing," Petito's parents said through a spokesman. You are sure he is hiding.