Social Media Calls for #JusticeforGabby Petito After Body Is Found in National Park
Those who have been following the Gabby Petito missing persons case are turning to social media in an attempt to bring justice after the FBI confirmed that a body was found in Wyoming.
On Sunday (Sept. 19), the FBI announced that a body, which matches the description of Petito, was discovered during a law enforcement search of the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park over the weekend.
The cause of death has not been determined. An official told CNN that an autopsy is scheduled for this coming Tuesday (Sept. 21).
Petito's father took to Twitter to memorialize his daughter and express his heartbreak as the news broke. "She touched the world," he simply wrote alongside a photo of her posing in front of brightly colored angel wings.
Family travel vloggers Jenn and Kyle Bethune, who run the page Red White & Bethune, revealed on Instagram that they spotted Petito's white van while traveling through the National Park in late August. They shared the footage with the FBI before posting it to their page. The update was reported by Insider a few hours before reports broke that suggested Petito's body was found.
The 22-year-old was reported missing Sept. 11 while in the middle of a road trip with her partner, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie. She last had contact with her family in late August.
Suspicions were raised after Laundrie, identified as a person of interest in the case, returned to his parent's home in North Port, Fla. without Petito on Sept. 1.
On Sept. 16, police released bodycam footage that was recorded when they were called to the scene of an alleged dispute between the couple on Aug. 12. In the footage, an emotional Petito admits to slapping Laundrie following an altercation, and it appears that they were subsequently separated for the night.
Laundrie's parents meanwhile reported him missing last Friday (Sept. 17) after he had not been seen since Tuesday. It is believed that he disappeared after going for a hike in the nearby Carlton Preserve. Law enforcement has been searching the preserve; however, the Herald-Tribune noted that the search has been stopped since it is now a criminal investigation.
As the news continues to break, many who have followed the case have turned to social media to process the latest developments. #JusticeForGabby trended on Twitter as users turned their focus to helping bring an end to the case.
Others used the case to shed light on additional missing person cases, in the hopes that social media would be able to provide a lead that was previously missing.
Read through some of the tweets below.