US Gabby Petito Hashtag Viewed 268M Times as TikTok Sleuths Join Search
Gabby Petito Has Been Missing for 6 Days: What We Know
Petito's family has continued to urge her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to come forward with any information after he returned home to Florida without Petito.Petito and Laundrie departed from Long Island, New York (where Petitio is originally from) on July 2 to travel cross-country in her white 2012 Ford Transit van. Social media posts from Petito showed that the van was outfitted as a camper.
TikTok sleuths have flooded the social media platform with videos about Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who is missing after a cross-country road trip with
Police on Saturday searched a Florida wildlife reserve for 23-year-old Laundrie, a person of interest in Petito's disappearance. Across the country, thesought clues about Petito's whereabouts in a Wyoming national park.
Body found in Wyoming believed to be Gabrielle Petito
MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. The FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds. The cause of death not yet been determined, said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” Jones said. “This is an incredibly difficult time for (Petito’s) family and friends.”An attorney who has been acting as a spokesman for the Petito family could not be reached immediately for comment.
Meanwhile, social media detectives are also working to solve the case.
On TikTok, users have been sharing theories and tracking every development in the case in videos that have gone viral.
Videos with the #gabbypetito hashtag have been viewed more than 268 million times as of early Sunday, while dozens of other hashtags—for instance, #findgabbypetito and #gabbypetitoupdate—have attracted millions more.
Haley Toumaian's TikTok account is usually filled with videos about her own life. But earlier this week, she began devoting it to share updates about the missing woman with over 500,000 followers.
As of early Sunday, Toumaian has posted 47 TikTok videos about Petito and on, she has revealed she is being inundated with tips about the case.
911 Caller Said He Saw Brian Laundrie Hitting Gabby Petito: 'Gentleman Was Slapping the Girl'
Police believe they have found the body of Gabby Petito, and her fiancé Brian Laundrie has gone missing"We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller tells the dispatcher.
"It just really struck a chord with me," she told The Washington Post, saying she had realized she had things in common with Petito: Both are engaged, similar ages and have YouTube accounts.
Toumaian isn't alone in making TikToks about Petito. So are dozens of other content creators on the platform. On Instagram,to bring attention to the case.
A woman named Miranda Baker posted a video on TikTok saying she believes she and her boyfriend picked up Laundrie as a hitchhiker at Grand Teton National Park on August 29. In a video that has racked up almost 10 million views so far, Baker said she only reported the encounter to police after seeing TikTok videos about the case.
But while some are convinced the online videos could help provide police with useful tips and leads, others believe some are simply using Petito's case to drive up views and followers.
Gabby Petito Timeline: What We Know So Far
The 22-year-old vlogger went missing following a cross-country trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who later returned home alone.Laundrie returned home from the trip alone at the start of September and was last seen around mid-September.
"There's a lot of people who are capitalizing off of and profiting off of creating content that's designed to dissect the last days that we know of this girl," Abbie Richards, who researches misinformation and disinformation on TikTok, told the Post.
Petito and Laundrie left for a cross-country trip to visit national parks in a converted van in July. But Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parent's home in North Port, Florida, on September 1.
Petito's family filed a missing person report with police in Suffolk County, New York, on September 11 after not hearing from her for a week.
Officials have said Laundrie refused to cooperate with police after the missing person report was filed, and has since gone missing himself.
KNow anything? Please call 1-800-CALL-FBI pic.twitter.com/oCDTwHJvCt— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 18, 2021
Earlier in the weekend, the North PortDepartment said in a statement that they understood the community's frustration over the lack of progress in finding Petito.
'Gator and Snake Infested Swamps': Inside the Search for Missing Brian Laundrie
Brian Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, "van life" vlogger Gabby Petito, 22, whose body is believed to have been found in Wyoming Sunday, say police"Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times," North Port Police PIO Josh Taylor said in a release Tuesday morning announcing that authorities were returning to the sprawling reserve to search for Laundrie, 23, who is a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.
"We are frustrated too," the statement said. "For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian's Fiancé, Gabby Petito. Friday is the first time they have spoken to investigators in detail."
The statement added: "It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime."
North Port police added that the investigation is now a "multiple missing person" case.
However, attorneys for the Petito family released a statement
"All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing," the statement from the law office of Richard B. Stafford said.
Gabby Petito's Father Asks Supporters to Be 'Inspired' at Funeral Held for N.Y. Woman .
Gabby Petito's body was found last Sunday near Wyoming's Grand Teton National ParkServices for the 22-year-old woman took place in Holbrook, N.Y. after Gabby was found dead last Sunday. Officials have since determined her death was a homicide.