Three reasons Gabby's family think she's 'communicating from the grave' – from chipmunks to rainbows
GABBY Petito is communicating with loved ones from beyond the grave, her family say.
Gabby's stepfather revealed the slain 22-year-old has been sending "signs" as a manhunt continues for her fugitive fiance Brian Laundrie.
Gabby, 22, was found dead in Wyoming on September 19 after she vanished on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie, who had returned home to Florida without her two weeks earlier.
Laundrie was deemed a person of interest after he himself disappeared on September 13 after allegedly telling his parents he was going camping.
Shortly after her body was found, Gabby's family held a press conference to demand justice.
"She’s always with us every day, she’s giving us signs," Gabby's stepfather Jim Schmidt said.
"It’s difficult, we’ve been talking and where do you go from here?
"How do you go back to normal, whatever normal may be from here on out, but we have each other.”
One of those signs was a rainbow that Jim said helped lead authorities to Gabby's body.
"It's wild stuff," Jim told Dr Phil last week."When they started with the grid search in the area where she was found, it had to be called off at the end of the day because of the weather.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
"But as the weather started to break, a rainbow was over the area and stopped over the area where she was found the next day.
"We also saw a bald-headed eagle and search and rescue said that meant we would find her tomorrow."
Gabby's stepmother Tara Petito also spoke about seeing four rainbows in the sky as they were flying.
"I've never seen a rainbow on a flight before never mind four," she told Dr Phil.
The family also believes Gabby is sending them signs through chipmunks appearing to watch them.
"A chipmunk was following me along the path where I went out to where the body was found," Jim said.
"And when I was placing the rocks to make the cross a chipmunk came out from a hole and sat there and watched me.
"I thought maybe that was Gabby watching me."
"They've been at our house and I've never seen a chipmunk in Long Island," her dad Joe Petito added.
LICENSE PLATE MESSAGE
Gabby's mother Nicole Schmidt said a third sign came when she was driving.
She said she looked up and noticed the car in front of her had a Wyoming sticker and the letters GBZ on the license plate – which she interpreted as "gabz."
“It’s hard to put into words, but it means a lot to me that she’s touched so many lives already and it’s only weeks into it and I’m so proud of her,” Nicole said.
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.
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