NewsSarasota, Manatee County


North Port woman on cross-country trip reported missing

The 22-year-old was last seen in Wyoming
Posted at 10:36 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 00:11:09-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — A North Port woman who was on a cross-country trip was reported missing by her family over the weekend.

Gabby Petito, 22, has lived in North Port for the past 2.5 years. She left on a cross-country trip from New York in July and was last seen in Grand Teton National Park.

Her mother reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department on Sept. 11.

"The first couple of days when I wasn’t getting responses, I believed she was in a place with no service. It was day 8-9 that I really became concerned," said Gabby's mother Nicole Schmidt.

According to her family, they were in contact with her during the last week of August. The Suffolk Police Department said she was traveling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with the Florida license plate QFTG03. The family said she was traveling with her boyfriend.

Petito would share her destinations on her travel blog on YouTube. She would also post photos to Instagram. Her last post on Instagram was on August 25. Recently, she posted photos from Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Zion National Park.

"They bought a transit van, converted it into a camper and wanted to travel the country...just see all the amazing sites. She wanted to document it and create a YouTube channel to really do it. Her mom got her a drone so she could use and take better pictures. She wanted to document the experience of traveling the country," said her father Joseph Petito.

Petito is described as a white female, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”

"We're not focused on anything other than finding Gabby," said her father.


The family created a Facebook page called "Find Gabby." Her father is asking for people to share her photos.

The North Port Police Department is actively assisting in this case in conjunction with the Suffolk County Police Department where she was reported missing. North Port Police said officers have no definitive information that a crime took place in North Port. Police called the circumstances "odd."

Authorities said Gabby's boyfriend returned to North Port without her. The van has been recovered in North Port.

If you know anything about this case please contact North Port Police at 941-429-7382.

In addition, the FBI Tampa Field Office is assisting with the investigation. You can also call 1-800 CALL FBI or submit your tip to:

"It doesn't matter how small the detail is, send the detail in, they will determine if it's factual or not or good enough and they will use it if it's good. No details are too small," said her father.

Tips may also be reported to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All callers can remain anonymous.