Father of Gabby Petito pens message of gratitude one year after body found

The father of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old travel influencer who was found dead following a road trip with her fiancé, called on internet users to share stories and photos of their missing loved ones to mark the one-year anniversary of when his daughter’s body was finally found.

“I want to thank everyone for the love and support you have shown our families. It’s because of all of you we were able to bring #Gabbypetito home,” Joseph Petito wrote.

“Today is particularly hard for us but if you can, please take a moment and share a #missingpersons story to help bring them home safe. Every story deserves the same attention.”

The still-grieving father shared his call to action on Instagram Monday evening alongside a photo of a younger Gabby sporting a New York Jets jersey.

“And yes I shared this picture because the @nyjets won” on Sunday, Petito added.

On July 2, 2021, Petito’s 22-year-old daughter left their native Long Island for a cross-country journey with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. Her family grew concerned when her husband-to-be returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Fla., on Sept. 1. Her disappearance sparked a massive search effort that culminated in the discovery of her body on Sept. 19 at a campground near Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.

Gabby’s cause of death was later ruled to be homicide by strangulation.

Upon returning home, Laundrie reunited with his parents, and then almost immediately left with them for a camping trip on the beach at Fort De Soto Park, south of St. Petersburg. But he never returned from the trip, and after months of speculation regarding his whereabouts, Laundrie was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 20.

In the pages of his notebook, later discovered by authorities, Laundrie confessed to killing his would-be-bride.

Earlier this year, Gabby’s parents filed a civil lawsuit against the Laundries, accusing them of failing to come forward amid the search for their daughter despite knowing that she was already dead.