Gabby Petito’s father encouraged people to speak out about domestic violence in a tribute to his late daughter on Monday.
Joseph Petito posted a photo of Gabby walking on the boardwalk holding two young boys’ hands, with the caption: ‘We have to do better. Changes are coming. Now is the time. Don’t be silent.’
It was hashtagged #domesticviolence and #domesticviolenceawareness.
The post comes just a few days after he tweeted that people have reached out to him to share that they have been inspired by her his daughter’s tragic death to make preparations before leaving their abusive relationships.
‘She is already saving lives,’ he posted on Saturday. ‘So many stories being sent to us about relationships being left with proper planning for safety, and people are being found due to her influence. We have much more work to do, but it’s a start.’
In an Instagram post on Monday, Joseph Petito encouraged people to speak out about domestic violence
He had previously tweeted that people have reached out to him to share that they have been inspired by her his daughter’s tragic death to prep before leaving their abusive relationships
Gabby Petito’s father (pictured) says that his daughter’s death has inspired multiple people to leave abusive relationships as the search for her fiancé and suspected killer continue
Gabby Petito, 22, took off for a cross-country trip with her fiancee, Brian Laundrie, 23, in a Ford Transit van over the summer and shared their experiences on Instagram
Although Laundrie is only described as a person of interest in Petito’s death, a ‘Wanted Murderer’ sign hangs on the same street as his parents’ home in North Port, Florida
Gabby Petito, 22, took off for a cross-country trip with her fiancée Brian Laundrie, 23 in a Ford Transit van over the summer, sharing their experiences on Instagram with the hashtag #VanLife. The posts abruptly stopped in late August, and on September 1, Laundrie returned to his North Port, Florida home in the van without Petito.
Her parents reported her missing 10 days later, and on September 19, her remains were found at a campsite where she stayed with Laundrie in late August.
Her death was later ruled a homicide.
Laundrie’s parents, meanwhile, reported him missing on September 17, saying the last time they saw him was on September 14, when he said he was going for a walk at the nearby Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature reserve.
He is now described as a ‘person of interest’ in the case and is charged with using a debit card fraudulently for allegedly using a bank card that is not his without permission and retrieving more than $1,000.
As the search went on, disturbing bodycam footage emerged showing police being called to an incident involving the young couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 – 13 days before Petito was last heard from.
In the video, an emotional Petito is seen with tears streaming down her face telling officers the couple ‘have been fighting all morning’ and admitting that she slapped him while Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm.
When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation but the cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor.’
He claimed she was ‘really worked up’ and he was ‘just trying to push her away.’
Police initially pulled the couple after a man called 911 to report a domestic abuse incident involving the two.
Newly-released bodycam footage has revealed Gabby Petito told cops Brian Laundrie had hit her and cut her face by grabbing her ‘with his nail’ during the August 12 domestic incident
The never-before-seen footage from a second officer’s body camera shows the cop pointing out ‘new’ marks on Petito’s face and arm and her admitting that he cut her face with his nail
In the aftermath, multiple people tweeted to Joseph that Gabby’s death gave them the courage to leave their abusive relationships.
‘I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this, but after your daughter’s case became public I found the courage to leave my narcissistic and abusive relationship. She truly is saving lives continuously sending my love and prayers to you all. I’m sorry nobody was there to save her,’ one person tweeted.
‘I found the strength I needed after 10 long years…realizing this could have been me. GOD NEEDED GABBY IN HEAVEN MORE THAN WE DID ON EARTH,’ another person shared.
Someone else tweeted: ‘Gabby inspired me to ‘take that trip’ with my kids that I was so nervous about last week. We had a blast! Her legacy will last forever. x’
‘I’m writing to you from faraway part of Middle East, Iran. I just a left a very damaging relationship recently because of Gabby. Sending your family lots of love and I’m sure Gabby’s watching over those who need help. She’s a true angel,’ another person tweeted.
Since the video was released, many people have been reaching out to Joseph Petito to tell him that Gabby’s experience inspired them to get out of abusive relationships
New details have also emerged in recent days about Petito’s last days, including that her family called the police in North Port, Florida, to file a missing persons report one day before she was officially reported missing and officers showed up at Brian Laundrie’s home.
Police records, obtained by WFLA, reveal Petito’s family contacted the North Port Police Department and attempted to report her missing on September 10.
But the family were told that, due to state law and the police department’s policy, they must file the report in the place of her last known location.
Partially-redacted call logs seen by DailyMail.com show two 911 calls were made that day to North Port police in connection to the Laundrie family home where Laundrie, 23, and Petito, 22, lived with his parents before their doomed cross-country trip.
Both calls were classed as ‘public service’ calls, with the first made just before 4pm and the second around 6.30pm.
It is not clear if these were the same calls made by Petito’s family, but both were given the brief description of ‘problem settled’.
The following day – September 11 – Petito’s family succeeded in reporting her missing in her native state New York, kicking off the huge search for the 22-year-old.
It was also revealed that Laundrie’s sister saw her brother twice between the time he returned to Florida without Petito and when he went missing around two weeks later – despite her previous public statements to the contrary.
A lawyer representing the Laundrie family confirmed on Friday that Cassie Laundrie saw her brother on September 1 when he came by her house – the same day he arrived back from the couple’s cross-country van trip alone.
Cassie saw him again on September 6 during a family camping trip to Fort De Soto Park, where authorities are now focusing their manhunt for her fugitive brother.
Cassie is to date the only member of the Laundrie family – including Laundrie himself – who has spoken publicly about Petito’s disappearance and death.
She claimed in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America on September 17 – two days before Petito’s body was found in Wyoming – that she had not spoken to her brother since September 1 and that she ‘wish[ed] I had more information’ to give investigators.
‘I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him,’ Cassie said at the time. ‘I’ve cooperated in every way that I can. I wish I had information or I would give more.’
The FBI is examining surveillance footage from the Fort De Soto Park campsite. A map shows the campsite’s location to the Laundrie family home and the Carlton Reserve where authorities have focused their search and Laundrie’s parents say he was headed
North Port police continued their search of the expansive Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida on Monday
Laundrie’s parents said he went missing on September 14, when he said he was going for a walk at the nature preserve near their house
The law enforcement officials used a drone to conduct a search of the area
Meanwhile, the nationwide manhunt for Laundrie continued on Monday, as authorities resumed their search of the nature preserve his parents claim he visited, and reality television star Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the Fort de Soto campsite on an island called Egmont Key, off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida.
They had previously discovered a used campsite and a discarded can of Monster energy drink on the island, and on Sunday night, his team confirmed that it has handed over evidence to authorities they hope will prove Laundrie was there.
The FBI is also getting involved in the search at the campsite, as the nationwide manhunt extends into another week, with many people reporting potential sightings of Brian Laundrie throughout the country.
‘The public has to be patient, and that can be hard to do in the time where we have feeling where we think we can be more helpful,’ Michelle Jenis, an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Department of Criminal Justice who specializes in missing persons told CNN.
‘We’re all just looking for red flags,’ she said, ‘and they could be meaningless.’
Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case
- July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
- August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
- Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
- Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
- Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
- Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
- Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
- Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
- Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
- Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
- Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
- Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
- Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
- Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
- Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
- Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
- Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
- Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
- Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
- Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
- Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando
- Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie
- Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children
- Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left
- Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods
- Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home
- Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did