The plot could be thickening in the increasingly strange case of a 22-year-old Florida woman who disappeared while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend that has grabbed the nation’s attention, and newly released police bodycam footage reveals what appears to be a troubled relationship.
Gabby Petito, who was reported missing by her mother last week after not hearing from her since late August, was seemingly living the dream of experiencing America in its full summer splendor, traveling to some of the most scenic areas of the western U.S. including national parks in Wyoming and Utah where she was last physically seen.
However, the dream may have taken a turn into nightmarish territory when Brian Laundrie returned to the Sunshine State alone, raising concerns about the safety and whereabouts of Petito as a much darker picture of the couple’s experience begins to emerge.
Now, in a disturbing new development out of Utah, law enforcement officials have refused to rule out the possibility that the young couple may have ties to a grisly double homicide, yet another twist in the bizarre saga.
The partially clothed, bullet-riddled bodies of 38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte, were discovered in August by a friend, several days after they were last seen, according to a warrant obtained by FOX 13.
Strangely, one of the victims worked at the same bodega that Petito and Laurie got into a heated argument at that was so intense that police were called for what was described as a mental health incident.
(Video: Fox 13 News)
“We’re looking at everything, I mean, anything and everything that was suspicious around that time or we’re not ruling anything out at this time,” a Grand County Sheriff’s Office spokesman told Fox News. “So we’re just investigating the information as it comes in.”
Authorities were careful to point out that there is currently no evidence that exists that the incidents are related but the couple’s argument’s proximity to the Moonflower co-op where Schulte worked leaves open the possibility.
In a breaking development, the Moab City Police Department just released the bodycam footage of the encounter between Petito and Laundrie from August 12th, days before two murdered women went missing.
While there were no arrests made, police separated the couple, putting Laundrie up in a local hotel and allowing Petito to stay with the white Ford van that they were traveling in.
Laundrie returned to Florida in the van and has since been named as a person of interest in the disappearance of Petito and is currently not cooperating with the investigation.
In a statement released by a spokesperson for Petito’s family, Laundrie is urged to help police.
“Brian claims he wants to sit in the background while we search for Gabby in the wilderness of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks,” Richard Stafford said in a statement released Wednesday. “Brian left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home. In his home!”
This continues to be a developing story that promises to have more twists and turns with the possibility of a very bad ending.
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