THE mom of missing road tripper Gabby Petito says the final text she received from her phone was about the lack of signal in a national park – but alleged it wasn’t written by her daughter.
Worried Nichole Schmidt said she received the chilling message on August 30 – weeks after Gabby and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie had started their cross-country road trip across America.
Schmidt told MailOnline that the message read “No signal in Yosemite. That text was NOT from Gabby I know it.”
It’s not known who sent the message.
Yosemite is renowned for its waterfalls and is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.
The family says they last heard from the vlogger on August 25 when she and her boyfriend had reached Grand Teton, Wyoming.
They had checked out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 24.
It comes as police confirmed Laundrie is now a “person of interest” in the case.
Officers say that Gabby’s boyfriend is “hindering their investigation” by not cooperating with them.
Florida’s North Port Police Department said in a statement on Wednesday: “Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case.”
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison added: “As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through.
“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks.”
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Garrison said: “The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out.
“We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance.”
Police responded to an alleged “incident” involving Gabby and her boyfriend on August 12, but neither was the reporting party.
Moab Chief of Police Bret Edge told Fox: “Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”
A police report documenting the alleged incident revealed Petito was sitting in the van’s passenger seat “crying uncontrollably” when a cop pulled up to their vehicle.
The Moab City, Utah police report, obtained by The Sun, states: “At no point in my investigation did Gabrielle stop crying, breathing heavily, or compose a sentence without needing to wipe away tears.”
Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
Cops have said that they are “not ruling out” a potential link between the missing case and a couple’s murder near where the alleged incident occurred.
Married couple Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were found dead by a friend in the La Sal mountain range in Utah days later on August 18.
A spokesman for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office told Fox 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. So we’re just investigating the information as it comes in.”
There is no evidence the two cases are connected at this current time.
Schulte held a job at a grocery store called Moonflower – the same location where Gabby and Laundrie reportedly got into an argument.
Cops said Laundrie returned to his parents’ house in Florida on September 1 – weeks before Gabby’s family reported the vlogger missing.
The white camper van they were traveling in has since been seized and investigators are searching the vehicle for fingerprints and clues.
Gabby and Laundrie lived together in Florida the past two years having met in high school in New York, her family said.
The pair started their road trip on July 2 and planned to visit Portland, Oregon so they could see a friend at Halloween.
They had been documenting their “Van Life” travels on their social media accounts and set up a YouTube channel just three weeks ago to chronicle their adventures through national state parks.
The couple visited Colorado Springs and many national parks in Utah but left the state due to the risk of wildfires.
A map reveals the final movements of Petito before she went missing last month.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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