Gabby Petito: How YouTubers Tipped Off Police About Location of Body Thought to Be the Missing Hiker

by Kati Michelle

Tensions and emotions continue to climb as new developments in the Gabby Petito case pour in. Gabby went missing sometime between the end of August and the beginning of September. Because the timeline’s details are so sporadic, officials are stuck trying to piece together the story backward. They named Brian Laundrie a person of interest right off the bat, but never got the chance to talk to him. He disappeared sometime last Tuesday.

Leading up to that moment, Gabby’s parents first reported her missing back on September 11th. In the following days, officials noted Laundrie’s family as uncooperative to their investigation. Without Brian or his parents talking, the public called the officials’ manhunt for him a “wild goose chase.” The Police search for Brian focused on the Floridian Carlton Reserve. It only spanned 48 hours before being called off.

In the meantime, one major tip came in from a YouTuber family. This led to a narrowed-down search of Gabby Petito’s alleged whereabouts. The tip, in fact, led the FBI to locate a body in a remote part of Grand Teton National Park. North Port sent out their condolences Sunday seeming to confirm the body as hers. While this whole case has been mind-boggling, what’s crazier is the fact that the tip came as a complete accident.

Footage of Gabby Petito’s Van Led Police to Find a Body

Jenn and Kyle Bethune are family vloggers known as YouTube’s “Red White & Bethune.” While traveling through the Grand Teton National Park, they captured this footage. It came from August 27th at around 6 p.m. in the National Park’s Spread Creek Dispersed camping area. It seemingly caught Gabby Petito’s van all “dark and closed up.” Jenn told Insider that she had the shocking revelation while watching the footage back weeks later. The van’s frame, stickers, etc. all seemed to match.

What’s crazier than spotting the footage during her edits, is the fact that her husband captured it all by accident. He didn’t actually mean to shoot any footage at the time, because the couple already captured the moments they wanted to. Upon identifying the van’s scene, they immediately turned over the footage to the FBI.

Without cooperation from the Laundrie family, this tip provided officials with a much-needed lead. Without the tip, the elements had a better chance of getting to the body before officials. Jenn Bethune told Fox 13 News the following about her realization:

“Relief just washed over me cause I could give this to their parents, to Gabby’s parents and say, ‘Hey, here’s the van. Go do whatever you need to do.’ I was just so happy that we got that on camera and we were able to give that to them.”

As far as other updates go, police are still combing through cell phone data and are set to execute the autopsy Tuesday. The FBI has also executed a search warrant for the Laundrie house, marking it as an official crime scene.