Travel blogger Jenn Bethune, who identified Gabby Petito’s van in video footage from a summer trip to Wyoming, on Tuesday reacted to news of the FBI confirming remains discovered Sunday belonged to the 22-year-old.
The agency on Tuesday said Teton County coroner Brent Blue had identified remains located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday as Gabby Petito’s and that she had died of homicide.
“I’m tired. I’m worn out. I am exhausted. I am drained emotionally and physically,” Bethune said in a Tuesday Instagram post. “My brain is mush. My phone has been attached to the charger so much, I feel reminiscent of the corded phones I grew up with. I think I’ve consumed like 30 calories in the last 36 hours. Coffee counts, right?”
She added that her emotions have felt like a “flipping carnival ride” that keeps spinning.
“But every bit of it was worth it,” she said of the aftermath that followed her decision to publish footage of Petito’s van, which she located around the same vast campground area the 22-year-old’s remains were discovered. “It was worth it because this community came together and brought Gabby home.”
Bethune went on to say that Petito has “brought so many people together, so many hearts, beating as one.”
“She is a beacon of light and hope. And we can never fully repay her for what she’s done for us,” the travel blogger said before encouraging her followers to get Petito to 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, Nomadic Statik, to make her dreams of becoming a travel blogger come true.
Petito and her 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie, were traveling from New York to Oregon in a white 2012 Ford Transit van that they converted into a camper. Petito had aspirations of becoming a travel blogger and had set up a YouTube page and website under the name Nomadic Statik to get her blogging career off the ground just before she disappeared.
Petito’s Instagram and TikTok accounts also display various places she and Laundrie traveled over the summer. Her last Instagram post with a specific location was in Moab, Utah, at Arches National Park, though she published photos afterward with no location. Her last Instagram post was published three weeks ago.
Bethune’s video suggested the pair was last together in late August in Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park.
Bethune concluded: “I know I am completely spent, but that is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING compared to what Gabby’s family is going through. I know they are hurting, they are broken, and extremely tired. But I also know that They are incredibly strong and beautiful humans and I admire them more than words can say.”
Bethune previously told Fox News that she noticed the white van that Petito and Laundrie were driving in her blogging footage after someone tagged her in a story urging her and anyone in the Tetons at the end of August to look through photos and videos for any possible clues in Gabby’s disappearance.
Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11, weeks after she last spoke with her mother in late August.
Laundrie returned home to North Port, Fla., where the couple lived with Laundrie’s parents, 10 days earlier on Sept. 1 with no sign of his fiancé. Authorities recovered the van on Sept. 11, and began a forensic examination of the vehicle on Sept. 14.
Laundrie is a person of interest in the case and has since also been reported missing. North Port law enforcement officers are continuing their search Tuesday for any signs of the 23-year-old in an area of the Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve not far from Laundrie’s family home.