Missing ‘van-life woman’ Gabby Petito was last seen traveling in the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, but the last text message sent from her cell phone suggests she’d made it to Yosemite National Park in northern California – about 800 miles away, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.
‘No service in Yosemite,’ reads the curious text from Petito’s cell phone, sent August 30 to her mother Nichole Schmidt, DailyMail.com has learned.
The mother has refused to disclose the contents of her daughter’s texts, but she has expressed skepticism that Gabby was the one who sent them.
She believes Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who was traveling with the 22-year-old, may have sent the message from her phone, possibly to mislead her family and investigators as to her whereabouts.
Schmidt said she last spoke with her daughter on August 23 or August 24. She texted with her daughter August 27, and then received that final text three days later.
But she said those texts didn’t sound like something her daughter would write and said ‘It may not have been her.’
Asked whether she thinks Brian sent the texts, she told DailyMail.com, ‘Yes, which may not be the truth, but it’s a possibility.’
‘It was just a little bit weird, the things that she was saying,’ the mom added, though she wouldn’t elaborate.
Police on Wednesday have named Brian Laundrie a person of interest.
Gabby Petito, the missing van-life woman, was last seen traveling in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone area in Wyoming, according to her family
‘No service in Yosemite,’ reads the text from Petito’s cell phone, sent August 30 to her mother Nichole Schmidt, DailyMail.com can reveal. Her uncle Mike Schmidt posted this handwritten timeline of events
Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt has expressed skepticism that Gabby was the one who sent the texts
Mike Schmidt is the brother of James Schmidt, who is married to Gabby’s mother Nichole. He posted on Facebook the timeline of Gabby’s last known whereabouts
Brian Laundrie and his parents released a statement through their lawyer Tuesday stating that a search was being conducted in or near Grand Teton National Park, near Yellowstone, in Wyoming, while adding that ‘it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.’
But Brian, 23, has refused to comment on her disappearance, including where and why he left her, driving their van back to Florida.
On Tuesday, Utah police have revealed they responded to an ‘incident’ involving Gabby and her boyfriend, just two weeks before she was last seen in Wyoming.
‘Our officers did respond to an incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito on 12 August 2021 however, neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party.
‘Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges,’ Moab Chief of Police Bret Edge told Fox News.
It not clear what the incident was about.
But Gabby’s mother told DailyMail.com, ‘It’s irrelevant. Two people traveling together with each other 24 hours a day, it’s not going to be perfect, it was an argument, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.’
Schmidt told DailyMail.com that she’s now questioning everything and looking at things through a new lens.
‘Maybe the relationship wasn’t what I thought,’ she said.
She’s also questioning Brian’s trip back to Florida in August to help his father move their belongings out of a storage unit.
Brian left Gabby in the Fairfield Inn in Salt Lake City and flew back home to Florida from August 17 to the 23 to help his father empty out a storage unit where he and Gabby had their things.
According to Schmidt, Brian’s father offered to let them keep their belongings at his house so they wouldn’t have to pay for the storage unit.
He left Gabby at the hotel so she, understandably, wouldn’t be alone in the van. Brian then flew back to Utah and they left the hotel together on August 24.
Schmidt now wonders why it was necessary to move Gabby’s things during their road trip and what became of her stuff.
‘Where are her things?’ she asked.
Asked why Brian chose to lawyer up, she replied, ‘You know I wish I knew that answer, why.’
‘I know that’s the reason this story is so sought after is because it’s odd. The police have said it’s very odd. We don’t know what’s going on, and where is my daughter. I just want to find her.’
Brian Laundrie (pictured left) returned home to Florida with the pair’s camper van and has hired a lawyer
Gabby was last seen on August 24 checking out of a hotel with Brian in Salt Lake City, Utah . The manager at the Fairfield Inn was less that helpful, claiming to know nothing about the girl
Gabby’s family lashed out at the Laundrie’s in a statement Tuesday. ‘Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.’
The above map illustrates the places Petito and Laundrie visited since the start of the trip leaving New York on July 2 to when she last spoke to her family on August 25 from Grand Teton National Park
Gabby’s family lashed out at the Laundrie’s in a statement Tuesday.
Schmidt and Petito families demand answers
The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful twenty-two year old daughter is missing and the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help. Brian Laundrie was traveling with Gabby in the Grand Teton – Yellowstone area. They were traveling together in Gabby’s 2012 Ford Transit van. That is where we believe Gabby was last seen.
Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.
The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not “remain in the background” but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located?
The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.
‘The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives,’ the family stated in a statement released by their lawyer.
‘Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,’ the statement continues. ‘Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.’
‘The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not ‘remain in the background’ but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life,’ the statement adds.
Gabby was last seen on August 24 checking out of a hotel with Brian in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The manager at the Fairfield Inn claimed to know nothing about Gabby.
When asked if any law enforcement has contacted the hotel regarding Gabby Petito she said, ‘no.’
The Perkins restaurant is attached to the hotel and supplies morning breakfast to the Fairfield Inn guests.
A cashier at Perkins restaurant told DailyMail.com that she saw Gabby in the hotel lobby around August 24.
Justina Suazo, 49, said, ‘I distinctly remember her because I commented to my co-worker how cut she was. I saw her in the lobby and she appeared to be just a normal guest.’
When showed a picture of Brian Laundrie, she said, ‘I never saw him at the hotel.’
At the Kicks 66 convenience store located down the street just a few hundred yards away from the Fairfield Inn, a cashier recognized the couple.
The cashier told the DailyMail.com, ‘They came into together on the night of August 21. I remember them because he was telling her to ‘hurry up.’
She didn’t say anything back to him, at one point she left the store for a few minutes and came back in. They bought bottles of water, a few packages of instant noodles and donuts.’
The cashier pointed out that the Salt Lake City FBI headquarters is across the street from the convenience store, also within a few hundred feet of the Fairfield Inn. ‘Their vehicle would have had to pass by the FBI cameras outside of the building pointing toward the street on several occasions.’