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‘Today Is Particularly Hard’: Gabby Petito’s Family Urges Help For Other Missing Persons Cases One Year After Her Body Was Found

“Every story deserves the same attention,” Joseph Petito said on Instagram post alongside a photo of a young Gabby and her sibling.

By Jill Sederstrom
The Gabby Petito Case, Explained

A year after Gabby Petito’s body was discovered, her family is thanking supporters and asking for help for others who’ve gone missing.

Joseph Petito shared a photo of a young Gabby and a sibling wearing Jets jerseys in a sweet message on Instagram Monday in honor of his daughter, whose body was discovered Sept. 19, 2021 in an undeveloped camping area in Grand Teton National Park.

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

Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt wrote on Twitter: "One year ago, we received the worst phone call of our lives. To honor #gabbypetito you can continue to share #missingpersons ..brave stories of #DomesticViolence to #breakthesilence & always #BeKind"

RELATED: Brian Laundrie Explained Why He Killed Gabby Petito In Notebook Found By His Body

Gabby disappeared in August 2021 during a cross-country trek with her fiancé Brian Laundrie to visit the country’s national parks and document their journey on social media.

Laundrie returned to his home state of Florida on Sept. 1 that year in the couple’s converted camper van without Gabby. Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt reported her missing on Sept. 10.

Laundrie disappeared himself on Sept. 13 as the search effort to find his missing fiancée was ramping up, according to WFLA. He was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot a month later in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. Laundrie left behind a notebook where he claimed responsibility for Gabby’s death. A coroner determined the 22-year-old had been strangled to death.

In the months since her tragic death, Gabby’s family has been outspoken about their desire to use Gabby’s legacy to help other missing persons, even starting The Gabby Petito Foundation in her honor last year.

According to its website, the foundation aims to “address the needs of organizations that support locating missing persons and to provide aid to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence situations.”

On Monday, her father had a similar message to the family’s supporters.

“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,” Joseph wrote. “Every story deserves the same attention.”

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