Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie's doomed cross-country road trip almost didn't happen.
The late 22-year-old vlogger's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, told Fox News that Gabby and Brian's plans changed after they were forced to postpone their dream beach wedding due to Covid-19.
“Covid happened so they put it (the wedding) on hold," Jim revealed. "They said they were going to live life.” Her mom, Nicole Schmidt, also added that the wedding was no longer their focus once they began planning their trip.
Gabby announced their engagement in July 2020. The couple started their road trip in July, one year later.
They started their cross-country getaway in Long Island, NY, and eventually made their way to Wyoming — where Gabby's body was found.
The goal was to return to Brian's parents' home in North Port, Florida, where the engaged couple was living.
Brian returned home on September 1 in the van without Gabby. Her parents became worried when they couldn't get ahold of her daughter. Their worry turned into a nightmare when Brian, his dad, Christopher, and his mom, Roberta, allegedly wouldn't answer their phone calls or texts.
Gabby's family — who live in NY — reported her missing on September 11, 10 days after Brian came back to Florida.
Her body was found on September 19 near a campsite in Wyoming where she and Brian were said to have visited.
Christopher and Roberta announced that Brian was missing on September 17, but their timeline is murky.
At first, Brian's parents claimed he had gone on a solo hike in the Carlton Reserve on September 14. They later changed their tune, alleging the last time they saw their son was September 13.
But one of their neighbors alleges she saw Brian running from the Laundrie backyard on the day they announced he was missing. She also claims that another resident in the area caught Brian running on video.
Christopher made his way to the Carlton Reserve on Thursday, assisting the FBI and authorities in the search for his fugitive son for the first time.
"Today Chris Laundrie accompanied members of law enforcement into the Reserve to show them the trails and places Chris and Brian have hiked and which Brian was known to frequent," the family attorney Steven Bertolino said. "There were no discoveries but the effort was helpful to all. It seems the water in the Preserve is receding and certain areas are more accessible to search."
"The entire Laundrie family is grateful for the hard work of the dedicated members of law enforcement that have been searching the Preserve for Brian over the last few weeks," he added. "Hopefully Brian will be located soon."