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Missing woman from North Port

Posted at 3:38 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 22:20:59-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — A North Port woman has been reported missing. Her family is scared after the van she traveled in was found in Southwest Florida -- more than 24 hours away from where they expected her to be.

Gabby Petito was traveling the county on her YouTube channel -- Nomadic Statik.

She was reported missing on September 11th at 6:55 p.m.

Her family, last contact with her was the last week of August.

Agencies, including the North Port Police Department, are assisting the Suffolk County Police Department.

Josh Taylor, the North Port Police Communications Manager, says she is from New York but moved to the area in 2019.

He says the circumstances of her disappearance are odd.

"You have a situation where someone has just stopped communicating with their family. Someone who communicates with them frequently. Why would that happen? Why would that be?" he said.

There have been more questions after the van she traveled in was found in North Port.

Taylor questions why the vehicle is back without her.

She was believed to be at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She was making her way to Yellowstone National Park.

She was with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. The couple traveled in a white 2012 Ford Transit van.

The van has been recovered.

“It wasn’t ditched or dumped. It was parked where we expected it to be parked," Taylor said.

Taylor didn't comment on whether Laundrie is cooperating with his agency.

"One way or another, the truth will come out. Our hope is that we can find,” he said. "If not the case, then there are a lot of agencies looking into this who are going to get to the bottom of this. So whether you are cooperative or not, and I’m not saying one way or another, the information will come out.”

He urges people not to rush to conclusions.

His agency will continue to gather evidence.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on Petito’s disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.