SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Authorities are sifting through thousands of tips in the disappearance of Gabby Petito.
But there’s one tip that is receiving attention from authorities. It comes from a Florida couple who was camping in the Grand Tetons in late August.
That’s the time period Petito vanished and hasn’t been heard from or seen. She and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were doing a cross-country tour and arrived in Utah in mid-August. One of their stops was in Moab police stopped them for an alleged domestic situation.
No one was arrested and they continued their journey through Utah before making their way to the Grand Tetons.
But something went wrong and Laundrie returned to his parent’s home on September 1. Gabby was not with him. Acting on the advice of his attorney, Gabby’s fiance has remained silent as to her whereabouts.
But the possible sighting of the Florida woman could give police their first visual confirmation the couple was in the Grand Tetons.
Shannon Baker from the Tampa Bay area and her husband were camping near Jenny Lake when she noticed the white van. Gabby owned a white van and Baker described it perfectly to police.
She declined to comment saying the police have her information.
But on Facebook, she posted “we only saw the van” no one else.
She and her husband noticed it because “We were looking into renting a small camper. So we both decided that one was the perfect size.”
She posted that others saw it too and ended by saying “My heart breaks for the family.”
“Once that is solidified, I think that’s just one more piece in our timeline,” said Josh Taylor, spokesman for the North Port Police in Florida. “Certainly there’s progress made in the last 24-hours.”
The FBI is counting on tips from the public to help break this case.
There’s certainly no cooperation coming from Brian Laundrie and his family.
A defense attorney in Salt Lake said information can be twisted leading to charges.
“Really when you ask why isn’t he saying anything? It’s the problem with the American justice system,” said Clayton Simms. “People can get falsely convicted of things they didn’t do.”
To date, the only one talking from Laundrie’s family is his sister. But she has yet to speak with him.
“It’s typical of both of them,” said Cassie Laundrie who spoke exclusively to ABC. “Whenever they fight they take a little break, come back, and be fine.”
She said the suspicions surround him are not a portrayal of who he is.
“He’s a wonderful uncle,” she said. “Whenever I need him he’s there.”
Late Friday afternoon, protestors lined up outside their Florida home. Most urged he talk to police. A short while later, two law enforcement officers showed up. The crowd became more vocal and news cameras began filming the events that were unfolding. About an hour later, police in North Port tweeted they were there at the request of Laundrie’s family.
“At this time, we are not speaking with Brian, more details when available,” police tweeted.