The family Gabby Petito has made their first public statements since a body believed to be Gabby’s was found in a national park near her last known location in late August.
“Earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito,” FBI Supervisory Agent Charles Jones said a press conference.
“The cause of death has not been determined at this time.”
Though the identity of the body is yet to be determined through an autopsy, Gabby’s father Joseph Petito shared a simple tweet of his daughter, saying she “touched the world”.
💔#GABBYPETITO she touched the world. pic.twitter.com/DukH7UCTPo
— joseph petito (@josephpetito) September 19, 2021
Per News.com.au, her family’s lawyer Richard Stafford followed with a statement about the discovery, asking for people to give her family, including her mother Nicole Schmidt and step-father James Schmidt, privacy as they process the news of her death.
“I am making a personal request to members of the press and news media to refrain from contacting the Schmidt and Petito family,” the statement read.
“Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve.
“I would also like to personally thank the FBI, the Suffolk County Police Department, the North Port Police Department and especially the Grand Teton Search and Rescue Team. Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby home to her parents. The family and I will be forever grateful.”
After travelling across the country in a van together for months, Brian became a person of interest when he returned home to Florida on September 1st without Gabby, ten days before she was reported as missing by her family. A week later, Brian’s family also reported him missing after they hadn’t seen him since September 14, when he left home and drove to Carlton Reserve near Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Over the weekend, authorities said their search for Brian is a missing persons investigation, and that he is not currently wanted in a connection to a crime.
Per the Independent, Brian’s family also made a statement about Gabby through their family’s attorney, saying that the news about their son’s fiancé is “heartbreaking”, and they “pray for Gabby and her family”.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.