GABBY PETITO CASE: Did cops fumble dead YouTuber disappearance probe?

The FBI confirmed on Sunday that a body found in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is likely that of the missing 22-year-old

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The disappearance of missing YouTuber Gabby Petito is now a suspicious death investigation.

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And now, he too has vanished.

Law enforcement experts believe Florida cops dropped the ball on Laundrie, described as a person of interest, in the disappearance — and now death — of Petito.

YouTuber Gabby Petito
YouTuber Gabby Petito Photo by GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM

Laundrie — described as “jealous,” “controlling” and “weird” by Petito’s pals — went for a hike last Tuesday in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and didn’t return. His parents didn’t tell investigators until three days later that their son was missing.

“They should’ve immediately placed him under surveillance,” missing persons expert Ed Gavin told the New York Post of police. “Immediately.”

He added: “They should’ve been all over him. The fact that they let him out of their sight, that’s a no-no. Time is of the essence with these investigations.”

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While investigators didn’t have enough probable cause to bring the Floridian in for questioning, Gavin said it was a “no-brainer” to keep him under surveillance.

“You always have to try to build a case and if it means surveillance to see where he’s going or what he’s doing … then you do that,” the ex-cop said. “You don’t need a search warrant to surveil somebody.”

Cops in Florida also admitted they hadn’t looked at Laundrie’s phone.

Gabby Petito and her boyfriend were travelling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with a variety of stickers on the back, the FBI said.
Gabby Petito and her boyfriend were travelling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with a variety of stickers on the back, the FBI said. Photo by handout /FBI

Meanwhile, Petito’s friends and family are struggling to come to terms with her tragic demise.

Her father, Joseph Petito, tweeted Gabby’s photo with the caption: “She touched the world.”

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A lawyer representing the Laundrie family called the discovery “heartbreaking.”

Petito last spoke to her parents on Aug. 25. Her mother said there was a mysterious text message allegedly from Yosemite National Park but she doesn’t believe Gabby was the author.

A pair of fellow YouTubers spotted her white 2012 Ford Transit van near Grand Teton two days later. They claimed the vehicle looked “abandoned.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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