Secret Meaning Behind Gabby Petito’s Final Text To Her Mom Shows She May Have Been Begging For Help

What does "Stan" really mean?

Gabby Petito YouTube Video YouTube

Missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito sent an “odd” final text message to her mother on August 27 that first drew suspicion from her family. 

Petito’s family’s worst fears have been confirmed after her body was discovered at a camping area in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, returned home to North Port, Florida without her on September 1. Now, the text may provide insight about Petito’s final moments, her relationship with Laundrie and his role in her homicide. 


Who is Stan? Possible meanings for Gabby Petito’s final text. 

“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” Petito’s final text reads according to a North Port, Florida, police warrant.

RELATED: 30 Important Domestic Violence Lessons To Learn From The Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie Case

The bewildering text has a variety of possible meanings according to police documents and internet crime sleuths. 

Stan was Gabby Petito’s grandfather.

The most straightforward of theories comes from unsealed police documents that say “Stan” is the name of Petito’s grandfather. 


However, her mother, Nicole Schmidt, told police that Petito never referred to her grandfather by his first name. 

“The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter” after getting the message, according to the warrant.

Brian Laundrie could have been texting from Petito’s phone.

The text may have been sent by Laundrie as an attempt to distract her family or convince them that Petito was alive. 


Laundrie may have been in the habit of referring to Petito’s grandfather by his first name and sent the text from her phone

It’s also possible that Petito had her grandfather’s name saved in her phone as “Stan” and Laundrie, unaware of who Stan was, texted her parents about calls that were coming into the phone. 

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Petito’s mother has already expressed her suspicions that Laundrie was sending messages from her daughter’s phone before the family realized she was missing. 

Stan may have been a code word. 

In pop culture, “Stan” refers to a 2000 Eminem song about an obsessive fan who is desperate to make contact with his idol.


In the song, Stan is hostile and angry before he ties up his pregnant girlfriend and drives her off a bridge. 

Some have pointed to clues that Petito was pregnant before her death and may have been using the name “Stan” to warn her mother she was in danger without Laundrie noticing, in case he was checking her phone.

STAN may have been an acronym.

On social media, some have suggested “STAN” could stand for “Send The Authorities Now.” 

Petito may have been asking for help or warning her family about the potential danger she was facing. 

We know now that Laundrie and Petito had a tumultuous relationship and had been interviewed by police over a domestic dispute in Moab, Utah in which Laundrie allegedly hit Petito. 


Petito may have been fearful of Laundrie but couldn’t flee without risking her safety further. 


Laundrie, who has not yet been named a suspect in his girlfriend’s homicide, is currently missing after not speaking to police since Petito’s disappearance. 

Police are searching Carlton Reserve in Florida, where his Ford Mustang was found by his family before they reported him missing. 

RELATED: Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend Brian Laundrie Allegedly Spotted In Alabama Heading To Mexico As FBI Search His Home

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.