The family of travel influencer Gabby Petito who was murdered while on a road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, has spoken out at a press conference, as authorities continue to search for Laundrie, who is a person of interest in her disappearance.
Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, thanked reporters as well as punters on social media for spreading awareness about his daughter’s case, but he asked that the attention also be placed on other missing people.
“I want to ask everyone to help all the people that are missing and need help. It’s on all of you, everyone that’s in this room to do that,” he said.
“And if you don’t do that for other people that are missing, that’s a shame, because it’s not just Gabby that deserves it.”
“Social media has been amazing and very influential, but it should continue for other people, too,” he said. “The same type of heightened awareness should go for everyone.”
Joseph Petito went on to reveal that he and his family are starting a foundation in their daughter’s honour called the Gabby Petito Foundation, that will be dedicated to helping find missing people.
“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened,” he said. “We can’t let her name be taken in vain.”
Joseph Petito previously discussed his daughter’s disappearance in a gut-wrenching Dr. Phil interview that was filmed when Gabby was still missing and had not yet been confirmed dead.
During the interview, Mr. Petito slammed Brian Laundrie and his family for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
“We called every [Laundrie] number we could find and no phone calls were picked up, no text messages were returned,” he told Dr. Phil.
The FBI released a statement revealing the Teton County Coroner had ruled Petito’s death as a homicide, however the cause of death is yet to be determined, pending final autopsy results.
Investigators say are committed to making sure anyone involved in Petito’s death “is held accountable for their actions,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement.
“Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest,” Schneider said. “Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”
Police are still searching for Laundrie.