In 2018, Daphne Woolsoncroft and Heath Merryman created “Going West: True Crime,” a podcast covering missing persons reports, murders, and cold cases.
Over the last few weeks, “Going West: True Crime” is closely following Gabby Petito’s story, and has released several pertinent episodes. Daphne and Heath are posting updates for informational purposes, and hope to bring justice for Gabby and her family. At Podsauce, we’ve been tuning in for updates.
What happened to Gabby?
Over the summer, Gabby and her fiancé Brian headed west on a cross-country road trip. Gabby, an aspiring travel influencer, posted updates of their excursions on Instagram and YouTube, showcasing national parks and shots from their #VanLife, a trip the couple had long-awaited, according to her posts.
Brian returned home alone
Recent episodes of “Going West: True Crime” provide a timeline leading up to when Gabby was last seen. Right before Gabby went missing, police were called over a domestic dispute between the couple.
At the beginning of September, Brian came home without Gabby, and 10 days later, she was reported missing by Gabby’s family. Since his return, Brian retained a lawyer, refused to speak with police, and is now missing, according to his parents. Brian is a person of interest, and authorities obtained a warrant to search his family’s home where he lives in North Port, Florida. Authorities have spoken to his family. Bags, likely containing evidence, were seen taken from his home by agents.
A body was found
A body matching Gabby’s description was recently found in Wyoming. Gabby’s family commented on the strange text messages they received from her just before disappearing. Online, true crime fans are eager to help with their armchair sleuthing chops to find and report clues, posting updates on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. For example, on social media, internet detectives have been combing the couple’s previously-posted videos for clues, and recently drew attention to Brian’s sci-fi/horror reading selection, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation. In this series, four women travel to Area X for exploration and research. Three of the women die in transit, and the fourth does not return. People have been debating the value of this find.
Armchair internet sleuths
People have also been examining Gabby’s last social posts, and they do not seem to match the others. Gabby’s Spotify account was located and her playlists were scrutinized since the app shows when songs were last added. Gabby’s AllTrails app activity is explored in an episode. The podcast’s hosts discuss and dispute various theories, statements, and facts. In a recent episode, the hosts explore reports from Gabby’s friend, stating that Brian was jealous, uncovering a media interview with Brian’s sister, and tracking down folks who claimed to pick up Brian when he was hitchhiking. They also invite listeners to write in on Twitter to further the discussion.
While sharing updates on Gabby’s case, hosts Daphne and Heath also discussed the Moab Murders that happened in the same vicinity of Gabby’s disappearance. In August, newlyweds were found shot at a campsite in Moab, Utah. Are these cases somehow related?
For more updates on Gabby Petito’s story, and to learn about true crime cases, new episodes are posted on Tuesdays.