A MOVEMENT inspired by #METOO is growing online led by Gabby Petito empathizers who hope to help women free themselves from abusive relationships.
'I AM GABBY'
"How about an "I AM GABBY" movement just like "ME TO”, wrote Amy Chimes on a Facebook page dedicated to the late 22-year-old Long Island, New York woman.
Since Gabby's remains were found on September 19 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, there has been a national and even international outcry over such a promising young woman whose life was cut short; with her killer or killers still roaming free.
Chimes continued: “So many of us are living, or lived, like Gabby did.. part of the Gabby Petito Foundation?" Help for domestic violence victims? Thoughts?”
The Me Too (#MeToo) movement was launched to combat sexual harassment, intimidation and assault following abusive crimes committed by Hollywood studio head Harvey Weinstein in 2017.
Authorities determined the vlogger’s demise was a homicide.
On Tuesday, Teton County, Wyoming, coroner Dr Brent Blue ruled Gabby was strangled up to four weeks before her body was found.
During the press conference, Dr Brent Blue described Gabby as a victim of domestic violence but refused to comment on whether her 23-year-old missing ex-fiancé Brian Laundrie is a suspect.
“Unfortunately, this is one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence," Dr Blue said.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
"And it's unfortunate that these other deaths do not get as much coverage as this one."
He was answering a query from a local radio host about his role as a small-town official in the high-profile case.
Dr Blue referred to it as a "media circus" before making the domestic violence comment.
No suspect has been named but Brian remains a “person of interest.”
Furthermore, Brian has not been charged over her death and authorities have not explicitly claimed he was an abusive partner.
MOAB DOMESTIC INCIDENT
There has been much speculation about Gabby suffering as a victim of domestic violence particularly after bodycam footage from an August 12 traffic stop police by Moab, Utah cops and park officers.
The footage of the interaction showed Gabby sobbing with red marks on her arm and a gash on her left cheek.
The physical spat between Gabby and Brian came two weeks before her demise was officially reported.
Police in Moab, Utah, received a 911 call that reported seeing Brian hit Gabby in the street.
The distraught Gabby explained to officers that Brian grabbed her face to try to silence her.
However, cops deemed Gabby the "aggressor" after she admitted she hit Brian first and there were no charges pressed.
The vlogger was last seen alive on August 27 as she reportedly apologized to staff in a Wyoming restaurant for Brian's anger.
During Gabby’s funeral service, Gabby’s father Joseph Petito touched on the domestic abuse that his daughter endured.
He warned other people to treasure life and not get caught in an unhealthy relationship.
“If there is a trip you want to take, do it now while you have the time," he said.
"If there is a relationship that might not best for you, leave it now."
He continued: “Gabby is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table.
"Because the entire planet knows this woman's name now, and she's inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what's best for them first.
"Put yourself first and do it now while you have the time. I couldn't be more proud as a father."
VAN LIFE ENDS IN HOMICIDE
Brian and Gabby, who met in New York before moving to Brian’s home in North Port, Florida two years ago, were around two months into their planned four-month cross-country road trip touring the US’ national parks before Gabby vanished sometime around August 27.
Brian quietly returned home to Florida alone on September 1, failing to alert police or Gabby’s family that she was missing.
He reportedly acted “without a care in the world” upon his return, neighbors said, mowing the front yard and enjoying idyllic bike rides with his mom.
Gabby was eventually reported missing by her mother in New York on September 11.
That came after 10 days of allegedly being stonewalled by Brian and his parents about where her daughter was, she said.
Then, on September 13, Brian allegedly vanished after telling his parents he was going hiking at Carlton Reserve.
But they didn’t report Brian missing until four days later.
A vigorous manhunt ensued to track down Brian focused mainly at the 25,000-acre swampland that is full of alligators, snakes and insects.
BRIAN WANTED BY FBI
The Denver Field Office of the FBI released a federal arrest warrant for Brian on September 23 for running up a $1,000 balance from August 31 through September 1 on a Capital One debit card.
Brian was reportedly indicted by a federal grand jury for violating a federal statute prohibiting use of unauthorized access devices.
The charges stem from August 30, when Brian allegedly used Gabby’s debit card and personal identification number to access her bank accounts.
That same day, Gabby's mom, Nicole Schmidt, also receives a text from Gabby's phone that reads: “No service in Yosemite.”
The mother is convinced that the text wasn’t sent from her daughter.
"That text was NOT from Gabby I know it!"
More specifically, Schmidt explained the date of the text didn't add up.
“The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]," she told the New York Post.
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
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