Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
woman standing in front of a white van with her back against the camera, gradient purple sunset in the background
Searchlight Pictures

How The Case For Gabby Petito Motivated An Online Community

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Most recently, social media has once again demonstrated its powers when it comes to helping others in moments of difficult times by helping lead to possible clues or answers. On September 11, 2021 22 year-old Gabrielle Petito also known as Gabby Petito was declared missing. Gabi was having the time of her life when she and her fiancé decided to take the ultimate cross country roadtrip in their van.

Gabby documented this trip through platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Both her and her fiancé were seen making great memories while traveling together, however on August 12th, 2021 things took a turn as a domestic disturbance incident was reported between the two of them. Police body cam videos surfaced capturing the moments where Gabby was hysterical. From the video, we see how distraught and afraid Gabby was as the police arrive at the scene between the confrontation that occurred moments before with her fiancé. Witnesses who called the police recalled that a fight broke out between the two of them.

Fast forward, she never returned from her trip as her fiancé did and she had not been answering her phone. Once authorities were advised of this, the search began for her and the internet spiraled with theories and clues to possibly help find answers about her last whereabouts. Videos began taking over Tik Tok about possible clues about her situation. Her name was trending worldwide and making headlines all over social media and news outlets. When people looked online, her name was highlighted and her story was there for millions to view. As police began connecting dots, they pleaded for any help in forms of possible pictures or camera footage if they were traveling in the nearby areas. Fanpages were created as a way to spread the word about Gabby’s disappearance. These pages were also collecting clues and reports from anyone that last saw her or any suspicious activity around their community.

Gabby’s parents pleaded through social media to let the world know all they ask for is peace during this difficult time. The amount of attention Gabby got was incredible and heartwarming to see. Social media was the number one tool used to work together for the purpose of good by helping and reporting anything anyone found odd in their area. It was fate that because she had gotten so much recognition, an individual was able to go back into their own personal footage and report something suspicious. Luckily, authorities were able to connect the dots by utilizing this video and discovering that this indeed was the last place Gabby was. Few days later, human remains were found and believed to match Gabby’s description. Though not confirmed, an autopsy will reveal more information later on.

Today, the FBI continues to search through the family home of Brian Laundrie for any possible answers. All her family asks for now is answers for what happened to their daughter. I would like to take this time to dedicate this article to the Petito family. My deepest condolences. A soul filled with kindness and love gone too soon. May she always be remembered as being an individual who touched many through her aspirations and love for the world. Rest in peace, Gabby.

Daisy Tuquinagui

Sacred Heart '23

Hi everyone! I'm Daisy, majoring in Criminal Justice and Journalism. I am on a pre-law track and super involved at SHU. Some organizations I am apart of are Delta Zeta Sorority, Student Government, Campus Ministry, La Hispanidad and Her Campus of course!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️