Gabrielle Petito: why the stalking of her boyfriend fascinates the United States so much

This news item has fascinated Americans for nearly a month. Brian Laundrie, suspected of the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito, is the subject of a manhunt. The couple had left for a road trip in a motorhome. A trip that Gabby Petito, who dreamed of becoming an important influence, staged on social networks. He had returned home alone to his parents, before leaving. In the meantime, Gabby Petito’s body has been found.

In the United States, it is the news item that has captivated the country for a month: the Petito affair , named after this 22-year-old influence who was killed while traveling in a camper van with her fiancé. The latter has vanished. Police and bounty hunters are chasing him . Americans follow this tragic story day by day.

Thursday, in a street of New York, CNN was lit in a window and practically all the passers-by stopped a few seconds to read the headlines on this matter. So why are they so interested in it? Because with social networks, Americans have entered the intimacy of the couple.

Gaby Petito dreamed of becoming a famous influencer. She portrayed herself and her fiance Brian Laundrie, including their trip during which she was killed. This tragic story raises questions on social networks and what they return. One internet user’s reflection illustrates this: “A lot of couples look awesome on Instagram. Life can be different.”

A disturbing recording

The proof with this recording taken by the camera of a police officer on January 12, 2015. We are in Utah. A motorist reported an altercation between a man and a woman. It was the Petito-Laundrie couple . She is in tears, says that her fiancé doubts her influencing talents, explains to her that it is a harmless argument. The police will stop there.

The boyfriend of a young American whose mysterious disappearance fascinates the United States, seen by the police as “person of interest for the investigation”, has in turn disappeared for several days, according to his parents.

Gabby Petito, 22, had left New York in July with her partner Brian Laundrie, 23, the start of a van trip that was supposed to last four months and the stages of which were regularly shared by the couple on Instagram and YouTube, through photos and videos.

But on September 1, Brian Laundrie returned home alone with the van to their Florida home. On September 11, Gabrielle Petito’s family reported her disappearance, saying they had not heard from her since the end of August.

Gabrielle’s family without news since the end of August

After following the lovers on social networks for weeks through the magnificent landscapes of the American West, Internet users began to mobilize to try to find the young girl, and the media took hold of the story. Police have announced that they are currently treating Brian’s disappearance after Gabrielle’s as “a case of multiple disappearances.” “When we have details we will make a statement,” tweeted North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.

On social media during their trip, the couple were seen smiling, kissing tenderly and walking hand in hand on the beach.

But a video made public by the police in Moab, a small town in Utah, has accentuated the confusion around the role played by her boyfriend. Gabrielle Petito appears there in tears, in a car, the police having intervened for a marital dispute. After Gabrielle’s family – nicknamed Gabby – reported her missing, police questioned Brian and said he had given them “no information”.

“Brian refuses to tell us where he last saw Gabby, or why he left her alone, bringing the van back.” These are crucial questions that require immediate answers, ”pleaded the family of the traveler in a statement. The FBI has opened a hotline for anyone with information, social media is very active, and a pot created on GoFundMe to “raise funds to help find Gabby Petito” totaled more than $ 45,000 on Thursday.

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