Friends of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie allegedly detected red flags in their relationship long before the fatal cross-country road trip.
Before her death was confirmed on Sept. 21, Utah police responded to 911 call that reported an alleged "domestic problem" between the couple, with the caller saying Laundrie was "slapping" Petito. The 22-year-old blogger was seen crying in police body cam footage on Aug. 12, explaining she was "fighting" with fiancé Laundrie.
Authorities said he returned to his home in Florida without her on Sept. 1, and his family has not seen him since Sept. 14. He remains a person of interest in the FBI and police investigation.
However, "things weren't 100% wonderful" between the couple when Laundrie's friend, Ben Matula, knew them as teens in Long Island, New York. "There was always something below the surface," he told People for an article on Sept. 22.
"One minute, they'd be all over each other, the next minute, he'd be like, 'We're fighting,'" he alleged. "They always had some drama."
Petito's friend Alyssa Chen, 23, also told People their relationship was rocky.
"They had times they were toxic and times where everything seemed a lot more healthy," she said. "They had very low lows and very high highs. But they really seemed to love each other."
As Chen stated, "When things were good, you'd be like, 'Why can't I have a relationship like that?' When they were bad, you'd be like 'Oh my God, just break up and spare yourself from the drama and everyone else from having to hear about it.'"
Matula said he used to be "jealous" of the pair of adventurers. "All their friends were either still in college or searching for entry level jobs, and they're out there killing it. I was jealous, and I know I'm not the only one. I was happy for them," he said.
Petito's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11 and her body was discovered on Sept. 19 in Wyoming. The coroner later reported the manner of death as homicide. No cause of death has been revealed.
A Sept. 15 search warrant, obtained by E! News on Sept. 20, revealed that police believe there was "more and more tension" between Petito and Laundrie as the trip went on.
Before Laundrie went missing, his lawyer said in a statement that his client wouldn't be speaking about the case. "Intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that 'any statement made will be used against you' is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance," the attorney said.
Authorities in Florida have been searching for Laundrie for days, recently investigating a possible surveillance camera sighting that turned out to be a dead end. On Thursday, Sept. 23, North Port Police shared a video of the search party starting for the day in Florida's Carlton Reserve.
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie on Sept. 23, relating to his alleged "activities following the death" of his fiancée. Read more here.