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Posted on Monday, September 27, 2021
Odds are if you have watched the news, scrolled Facebook, or talked to ANYONE this last month, you have heard about the Gabby Petito case. In short, a 23 year old woman by the name of Gabby went missing while traveling in her converted van with her boyfriend.
Here's a quick timeline to catch you up to date:
August 24th - Gabby last seen in person leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, UT.
August 25th - Gabby posted to social media about her travels in Wyoming.
August 30th - Gabby's family receives an odd text from her phone that raised some alarms.
September 1st - Brian Laundrie returns home to Florida... alone.
September 11th - Gabby is reported missing, family didn't even know that Brian Laundrie was home in Floria without her.
September 14th - Families are torn apart as Brian's family keeps him hidden as he refuses to talk to police.
September 17th - Brian goes missing - where is he?
September 19th - Gabby's remains are found where she was last seen, near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. They were confirmed two days later to be hers.
September 23rd - An arrest warrant was issued for Brian Laundrie, but he is still unable to be found (up to the time writing this blog). FBI, local police, civilians and even Dog the Bounty Hunter are out searching for Brian, but nobody knows where he is.
So how did one case of such a small town girl become "America's Daughter" and on every news channel and on every platform of social media? Getting the public's attention can be hard. In this case, however, the couple documented their trip online. Which opened them up to having alot of followers from everywhere. And that turned on a lot of online sleuths to follow the case. (Remember the movie "Don't F*** with cats" and how internet sleuths solved a murder?)
Having an internet following can do WONDERS. Just clicking the "share" button on Facebook can reach so, so, so many people if everyone shared missing person's posts. And I think America is starting to see that. In fact, this morning I saw a post that was made 8 hours prior to me seeing it. A woman's husband was missing. By the time I saw the post, 8 hours later at 9am, the police had found her husband, but the post had THOUSANDS of shares by this point. Thanks to the Gabby Petito case, America is waking up and seeing how a simple share can help find a missing person.
But what about all those missing persons that have been missing without the shares? Did you know the FBI only has 103 missing people on their national website? In the county I live in, we actively have 50+ missing people RIGHT NOW. Above you will see a chart with the NamUs missing person chart as of 9/27/21. You can search who is missing by state and county - and it has people of all ages, of all backgrounds.
So how can we help bring people home?
Share, share, share! Join in on local manhunts when there is a missing person in your area. Post flyers, talk about that missing person. Exposure. Never give up! The internet is a scary place, but it's also a beautiful place that can bring people together when they need help!
Search NamUs here: https://namus.nij.ojp.gov/