GABBY Petito's mother told her not to trust anybody before she set out on her doomed road trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie.
Mom Nichole Schmidt shared her agony at losing Gabby in a heartbreaking interview as a manhunt for Laundrie drags on.
Schmidt revealed that she was "worried" when 22-year-old Gabby launched her planned four-month cross-country road trip touring America's national parks with Laundrie, 23, in July.
"I told her to be careful, be safe," she told 60 Minutes Australia. "To be aware of your surroundings. Don’t trust anybody."
The mother said that while she was concerned about Gabby's safety, she believed Laundrie would protect her.
"It felt safe because she was with Brian and I felt like she would be OK," she said.
"I thought he would take care of her."
Three months later, Schmidt has a very different view of Laundrie, calling him a "coward" who deserves to be locked up for life.
Gabby and Laundrie were two months into their road trip when she vanished sometime around August 27 in Wyoming.
Brian quietly returned home to Florida alone in Gabby's van on September 1 but failed to alert police or her family that she was missing.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
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 Schmidt on September 11, three days before Laundrie disappeared after allegedly telling his parents he was going camping.
Gabby’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming on September 19.
A coroner confirmed she died by strangulation last week amid a nationwide search for Laundrie, who is considered a person of interest in Gabby's death.
'LOCK HIM UP'
Schmidt repeated calls for Laundrie's capture in her 60 Minutes interview, saying: "He is a coward. I just want to get him in a cell for the rest of his life
"I don’t want to say he is insane or anything, he went home, he’s hiding, he used her credit card.
"I mean, that’s not someone who has gone crazy. He knows what he is doing."
Thinking about Gabby's final moments, Schmidt said: "I hope she did not suffer and she was not in any pain.
"That she was in a place she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains."
She added: "You never, ever think it is going to be yours. It is surreal."
In the same interview, Gabby's dad Joe Petito shared their last conversation.
"The last thing I said to her, my very last sentence was 'I love you.' And her last sentence to me was ‘I love you too,'" he said.
Gabby's family returned her remains to her hometown of Blue Point, Long Island, New York, over the weekend.
On Sunday, a fundraiser was held for the Gabby Petito Foundation set up after her death to help families with missing loved ones.
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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