Between August 27 and 30, 2021, a 22-year-old American woman named Gabrielle Venora Petito disappeared while she was on a vanlife trip across the United States with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. On September 19, 2021, a few weeks after Laundrie drove the couple's vehicle from Wyoming to Florida alone, and refused to talk about Petito's whereabouts, her remains were found in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Preliminary results from an autopsy identified her death as a homicide.
The case gained notoriety when the couple's whereabouts became the focus of public attention due to the amount of audio and video documentation and logistical information about their journeys, including their own travelogue posts, police body camera video footage of a domestic dispute between the couple, 9-1-1 emergency dispatch call recordings and eyewitness accounts made on social media platforms.
After Laundrie was designated as a person of interest in the case, his parents said he went hiking in a nearby forest preserve on September 14, and has not been seen since. On September 22, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest on charges of debit card fraud after he made withdrawals using someone else's card.