“You know, when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your hackles go up when you see something that’s out of the ordinary,” Jessica Schultz told The San Francisco Chronicle.
The graphic designer, 38, who initially discussed the sighting on TikTok, said she was camping with friends when she noticed a slow-moving white van near Grand Teton National Park in late August.
“He was very awkward and confused and it was just him — there was no Gabby,” she alleged in her video.
When she passed the vehicle, she said she noticed a “generic” young white man she now believes was Laundrie. Schultz also recalled a straw hat — similar to what was seen on the couple’s van dashboard in photos.
“My friend texted me a picture of the hat on the dashboard and I just lost my s–t,” Schultz told the Chronicle. “And that’s when I called the FBI and said, ‘Guys, look at Spread Creek.'”
Schultz said the police bodycam video of a sobbing Petito outside Arches National Park on August 12 is what convinced her that what she had seen was important.
Petito was found dead over the weekend in Grand Teton National Park after she and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip in a white 2012 Ford Transit van in July. The pair documented some events on their social media accounts, including a YouTube video titled “VAN LIFE: Beginning Our Van Life Journey.”
Officials have since determined her death was a homicide. Meanwhile, the search continues for Laundrie who hasn’t been seen in over a week.
Joseph Petito, Gabby’s father, exclusively told In Touch that Laundrie was “useless” in the investigation before his own disappearance.
“You know what. Forget helping at this point. We know that he’s a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest right now,” Joe said on September 17. “There are ways that he could turn around, through his parents or whoever knows something in that house that can give us information without incriminating somebody. I don’t care right now. I want my daughter. The entire planet is invested in this and looking for her and there are three people in North Port who haven’t lifted a finger.”
If you have information on this case, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
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