Teen Mom OG star Maci Bookout McKinney is facing backlash after sharing a misleading post about the tragic death of 22-year-old “van life” blogger Gabby Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who is a person of interest in the case.
It’s unknown if the former 16 & Pregnant star, 30, shared the link herself or if her social media team was behind the posting on Wednesday, September 22, but the message on her Instagram Stories that caused an uproar read, “#GabbyPetito Boyfriend #BrianLaundrie FOUND!?!” with a “Breaking News” hashtag. The whereabouts of Laundrie are still a mystery at this time.
Bookout did not immediately respond to In Touch’s request for comment.
An arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie, 23, on September 23, just 48 hours after Petito’s death was confirmed by a coroner who deemed it a homicide.
The arrest warrant was for the alleged violation of the “Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices” statute of the U.S. Code, specifically for “whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices.”
While her official cause of death has yet to be determined, Petito’s remains were tragically found on September 19 in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
The couple, who started dating in high school, had previously embarked on a cross-country trip in a white 2012 Ford Transit van back in July, most of which was documented on YouTube and social media. After Petito was confirmed to be dead, the search continues for Laundrie who hasn’t been seen in more than a week.
Now, after seeing Bookout’s “clickbait” link on her Instagram Stories, many people online expressed their outrage at the “distasteful” post.
“So, Maci can’t make a post to bring awareness about #GabbyPetito but she can make clickbait and profit off of this tragedy,” the Instagram account Teen Mom Fanz wrote in their caption, stating that a “family is grieving and the world is watching.”
“Regardless if it were her posting or a social media team … read the room! It’s vile to do this,” another argued. “Especially on an ongoing investigation.”
If you have information on this case, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
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