Gabby Petito’s family announced foundation to help missing people

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Gabby Petito’s family announced that a foundation in her name would help the families of other people missing after the disappearance and death of the 22-year-old who caught worldwide attention and highlighted the disparities between cases of missing white women and those of people of color.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Petito’s parents and in-laws thanked members of the media, law enforcement and people on social media for helping to bring attention to his case.

“We just hope that through our tragedy of losing Gabby, in the future something good will come out, that we can help other people who might be in. [a] similar situation, ”said his stepfather, Jim Schmidt.

Joseph Petito acknowledged the “influential” role social media has played in raising awareness of his daughter’s case, adding that it has helped her bring her home.

Petito, an aspiring social media star who rose to prominence as a #VanLife influencer, disappeared last month while traveling across the country with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. After Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming, his death was deemed a homicide. An arrest warrant has been issued for Laundrie, who disappeared after returning to Florida on September 1.

The weeks-long national obsession with Petito’s disappearance and murder has unfolded on airwaves and news feeds. It sparked a conversation about how missing white women receive disproportionate media coverage.

Much of the nationwide fixation on Petito’s case was fueled by true crime enthusiasts on TikTok, who then began to use their platforms to highlight other missing persons cases that were largely ignored.

His family acknowledged this disparity on Tuesday.

“Social media was amazing and very influential, but to be honest it should continue for others as well,” her father said. “This same type of awareness must be pursued for everyone.”

Speaking to the media, he said he wanted to ask everyone to help “all those missing”.

“If you don’t do this for the other missing people, it’s a shame,” he said. “It’s not just Gabby who deserves this.”

In a tweet on Saturday, Joseph said the foundation would “provide resources and advice to bring [missing] children at home. “

Family attorney Richard Stafford said on Tuesday they were still determining whether the foundation would only help cases of missing children or those of missing adults.

While the foundation’s mission statement has yet to be released, the family thanked the AWARE foundation for publicizing Petito’s disappearance, adding that this had led law enforcement to re-investigate the cases. of missing persons. They are committed to helping other families of missing people go through similar situations.

Her family also displayed her new tattoos inspired by Petito’s artwork.

A large crowd of family members, friends and supporters attended Petito’s funeral service Sunday in Long Island, where she was remembered as a bright, beautiful, kind and adventurous young woman.

“[Gabby Petito] was the bright light in the lives of everyone who knew her, “Stafford said.” Gabby’s family don’t want this light to darken, and they want to make the most of the terrible tragedy. “


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