Travel blogger Jenn Bethune’s footage of Gabby Petito’s van helped cops find her body

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Travel blogger Jenn Bethune's footage of Gabby Petito's van helped cops find her body

A travel blogger says she felt “chills” when she realized she had filmed Gabby Petito’s converted white van near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming last month — in the same area where a body believed to be the missing 22-year-old was found over the weekend.

Jenn Bethune said she discovered her footage of Petito’s van Saturday night and alerted authorities, who found the body Sunday.

In an interview with TV’s “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Bethune said someone tagged her in a social media post calling on people who were in the national park Aug. 27 to check through their videos and photos to try to help investigators searching for Petito.

“I got chills all over my body and ran right straight back to my laptop, got my GoPro footage, and lo and behold, Gabby’s van was on there,” Bethune said.

Jenn Bethune(left) and her husband Kyle realized that they had seen Gabby Petito's van on August 27, 2021 when they were in Grand Teton National Park.
Jenn Bethune(left) and her husband Kyle realized that they had seen Gabby Petito’s van on August 27, 2021 when they were in Grand Teton National Park.
Red White & Bethune/YouTube

Bethune said she and her husband, Kyle, remembered seeing the van as they drove through the park that day but “didn’t think anything of it” at the time.

“The reason why we noticed the van is because we’re from Florida, and the van had Florida plates, and we wanted to stop by and say hi,” she said. “But the van was very dark, closed up, looked like no activity, so we ended up just keeping driving.

“Each of these dispersed camping spots are kind of tucked away behind the trees,” Bethune added. “It was very busy. It was pretty full that day we were there.”

According to Bethune, the van was dark, closed up and empty so she and her husband paid it no mind and kept driving.
According to Bethune, the van was dark, closed up and empty so she and her husband paid it no mind and kept driving.
Red White & Bethune/YouTube

She said she only made the connection between the van and the Petito case after being tagged in the social media post.  

Bethune, who posted her footage of the van on her YouTube page Sunday before authorities revealed they had found a body, said she spoke to Petito’s mother after realizing she’d seen the van.

“It was beautiful, we got to share some moments together on FaceTime. Just two moms, really just have a great cry,” Bethune said of her call with Petito’s mom.

Bethune said that she and her husband wanted to stop by and say hello because they saw the van had Florida plates.
Bethune said that she and her husband wanted to stop by and say hello because they saw the van had Florida plates.
Red White & Bethune/YouTube

“I am so sad that we couldn’t bring her back alive. To be able to bring her home to her family, or help with that, is everything,” she added.

Petito had last spoken to her mom over FaceTime around Aug. 25 while on a tour of national parks in the converted van with her 23-year-old boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Laundrie returned home to Florida without Petito on Sept. 1, retained a lawyer and refused to cooperate with authorities.

Bethune revealed that she managed to speak with Petito's mother shortly before authorities found her body.
Bethune revealed that she managed to speak with Petito’s mother shortly before authorities found her body.
Red White & Bethune/YouTube

Authorities had been poring through hundreds of tips and searching large swaths of Wyoming and Utah ever since Petito was reported missing Sept. 11.

Police in Florida ended up also searching for Laundrie after his family reported him missing since he reportedly set off on a hike last week and failed to return.

An autopsy on the body found in Wyoming and believed to be Petito is scheduled for Tuesday.

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