The death of Gabby Petito has been a major headline for weeks, and that, unfortunately, has drawn the attention of dangerous conspiracy theorists. QAnon believers are circulating the theory that Petito was a "crisis actor" and that her disappearance and death was a "false flag operation" in order to distract from President Joe Biden's "failures." Others are even arguing that Petito didn't exist at all.
Insider reported that QAnon-focused Telegram channels like GhostEzra, which has more than 330,000 subscribers, and WeTheMedia, which has more than 246,000 subscribers, have been posting about her case since her body was discovered. "Somethings not right about this whole situation... this is clearly Black Ops to cover for Biden failures. Was he ever real? Is SHE? Another false flag right before the audits," posted a Telegram user with the ID SherRryWW1G.
This kind of baseless fearmongering from QAnon was a major hallmark of the 2020 election and has also been spreading major misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Some are in it so deep that they think that the Petito case is a message from Q. "Gabby's story is hitting every news outlet mainstream and alternative news. Q said crimes against children would unite us. Q also said the first arrest would be uniting us. I believe this is all connected in a story that's hopefully going to be mind-blowing for sleepers," a Telegram user with the handle HBNevergiveup wrote.
Some True Believers are even linking Petito's death to the belief in the "deep state" and pedophilic cabals. "Appears to me that BOTH the BF AND the authorities who last saw Gabby alive could be suspects in her case. For all we know the police who pulled them over, are as corrupt as some of these govt' agencies like CPS, who've also been known to be complicit, if not directly involved in mysterious vanishings like these. (sex trafficking or blood sacrifice)," wrote user Hart_IQ. Ultimately, this type of rhetoric is dangerous because it fuels misinformation and is extremely disrespectful to Petito's family.
Petito went missing in late August while she and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, were chronicling a cross-country trip in their white 2012 Ford Transit Connect Van for their social media pages. On Sept. 1, Laundrie arrived at his parents' home without Petito. Ten days later, Petito's family in New York reported her missing after they had not heard from her in weeks. Petito's remains were found at Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19, and a preliminary autopsy found her manner of death was a homicide. Laundrie, who has been named as a person of interest in Petito's death, is wanted for arrest after he was indicted on a federal charge of alleged debit card fraud. North Port police and the FBI have been searching Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for Laundrie, but have been unsuccessful so far.