With record-breaking attendance across Grand Teton National Park and all National Parks for that matter, a lot of unfortunate things are on the rise as a result. There’s been an uptick in littering, for example, along with increased odds for animal encounters that can sometimes be deadly. Another deadly danger park visitors might not want to think about? Going missing.
Just this month, a missing toddler spent days lost in a forest surrounded by wild animals and park rangers found 42-year-old Hitoshi Onoe dead at the base of the Black Chimney climbing route in the Grand Tetons. Previous reports from this past weekend followed the ongoing search for 22-year-old Gabby Petito. This is an update to her story that comes with a potentially promising lead.
Playlist Might Unlock Missing National Park Hiker’s Whereabouts
Gabby Petito is the name of the 22-year-old New Yorker still identified as a missing person. Last seen in late August at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, according to police, Petito’s parents reported her missing over this past weekend after not hearing from her in a week. The details surrounding the case are rather odd, too. Leading up to her disappearance, Gabby Petito traveled cross country with her now ex-fiance Brian Laundrie. However, Fox reports that the police chief in Moab, Utah got word of the couple’s involvement in some kind of incident on August 12th.
Now, details haven’t been released regarding the incident in question and responding officers did not find evidence of a crime there. However, it fits the timeline of when things started getting strange. Shortly after the vague incident, Gabby’s parents stopped hearing from her and Laundrie traveled back to his family in Florida. Unfortunately, Gabby did not make the journey with him and was last seen at the Grand Teton National Park. Gabby’s social media posts then stopped altogether– a very strange departure for someone as active as she usually was.
Still, authorities think they might have found a promising lead. Gabby keeps her Spotify profile public, so anyone can see what playlists and songs she listens to. In the first week of September, a couple of new playlists popped up that she seemed to share with Laundrie. While it may bring new information to the investigation, it might also hold some darker secrets. Many of the songs seem to have to do with relationship struggles.
Still No Official Suspect
With his personal ties to Gabby, Brian Laundrie faces a lot of public scrutiny for his lack of transparency. The young man has not issued any public statements or even talked to Gabby’s parents about her disappearance yet. With no clear evidence against him for committing an actual crime, police also have their hands tied. Still, a Florida police spokesman told Fox News on Tuesday:
“I think anyone would assume that the possible last person to be around her is a person of interest to want to talk with. However, there is no crime at this point.”
Her parents also made a joint statement saying the following: “The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.”
It’s a confusing and grim picture, for sure, but we’ll keep rolling updates as they come, Outsiders.