Gabby Petito’s parents start charity to help families find their missing children | Daily Mail Online


imageGabby Petito’s father announced on Saturday that he is starting a foundation named after his slain daughter which will help families who are trying to search for their missing children.Joseph Petito, Gabby’s father, announced the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation on social media on Saturday.’No one should have to find their child on their own,’ the bereaved father wrote.’We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home.’We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby.’ The social media post ended with the hashtag #gabbypetito and a link to the foundation.Petito’s body was a week ago at the Spread Creek campground near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming – weeks after she was reported missing.

Her death has been ruled a homicide, but the cause of her death has not yet been released.Law enforcement officials have since launched a search in alligator-infested reserve in Florida after he disappeared a week ago.

He is is considered a person of interestand the FBI has since issued an arrest warrant after he allegedly used Petito’s bank card after her disapperance.Gabby Petito’s father announced on Saturday that he is starting a foundation named after his slain ‘van lifer’ daughter that will help families who are trying to locate their missing children The announcement comes as well-wishers gathered in the hometown of Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, to hold a candlelight vigil for the woman and aspiring social media influencer whose disappearance has captivated the nation for weeks.Mourners are seen above in North Port, Florida, on Saturday Well-wishers hold candles and pause to remember Petito, the 22-year-old ‘van life’ woman whose body was found last Sunday in Wyoming The candleight vigil in North Port, Florida was held just a few miles from Carlton Reserve, where authorities are intensively searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since September 17 Mourners place balloons and flowers at the site of the vigil in North Port, Florida, on Saturday Other well-wishers brought teddy bears and cards as a gesture of mourning in North Port, Florida, on Saturday Petito (right), 22, was reported missing on September 11, 2021, after traveling with her boyfriend, Laundrie (left), around the country in a van and never returned home Late Saturday afternoon, as Laundrie’s neighbors in North Port, Florida, held a vigil for Petito where they released butterflies and held a moment of silence, search teams were working just a few miles away combing through alligator-infested swamps of Carlton Reserve as they continued the hunt for the 23-year-old.The butterfly has symbolic value since Petito’s final social media post shows her standing in front of a butterfly mural in Utah.

‘When something like this happens, it affects everybody.It doesn’t just affect one person or a family, because everybody knows everybody,’ Arianna Ortiz, who attended the vigil on Saturday, told WFLA-TV .Other locals at the vigil want Laundrie to come forward and tell authorities what he knows.’I wish just wish he would do the right thing and tell us what happened and face the facts and bring closure to most of all her family and this community that is mourning her loss,’ said Chrystal Ortiz.

The planned foundation and the vigil in North Port, Florida came a day before a visitation memorial will be held on Long Island.Joseph Petito (seen above in North Port, Florida, on September 16) announced the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation Petito is seen above in an August 25 photo – one of the last to be posted on her Instagram account before she disappeared The public is invited to pay their respects to the 22-year-old Petito at Moloney’s Funeral Home in the hamlet of Holbrook, New York, in Suffolk County, Long Island.Petito’s funeral is scheduled for Monday.The Long Island funeral home that will host a public visitation memorial for Petito on Sunday released a touching video tribute featuring a montage of personal and family photos.Meanwhile, tributes are pouring in nationwide as mourners flood Facebook with condolences to the young woman’s family.’Gabby Petito has become America’s child,’ one well-wisher said.Moloney’s Funeral Home posted the montage on its web site on Saturday.It shows young Gabby as a happy, smiling girl who enjoyed playing outdoors and spending time with her family and its pet dog.

The photos also show her love of nature and the outdoors.Gabby is photographed at some of America’s most popular outdoor destinations including Zion National Park in Utah.In July, Petito and her boyfriend, Laundrie, 23, set out from her family’s Long Island home on a cross-country ‘van life’ trip that they began to document on social media platforms.Gabby Petito is seen in this undated file photo released by Moloney’s Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York Petito is seen above with a dog while walking on the beach in this undated file photo Young Gabby is seen above in these undated file photos.

Her family remembered her as a warm, loving young woman Young Gabby is seen above in the arms of her father, Joseph Petito, in this undated file photo Gabby Petito is seen above appearing to meditate along the beach in this undated file photo The couple documented online their trip in a white Ford Transit van converted into a camper, but they got into a physical altercation on August 12 in Moab, Utah, that led to a police stop for a possible domestic violence case.Ultimately, police there decided to separate the quarreling couple for the night.But no charges were filed, and no serious injuries were reported.Petito was reported missing on September 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days while the couple visited parks in the West.A bag of preparations and ribbons were dropped off at Moloney’s Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York on Saturday – two days before a visitation memorial for Petito which will be open to the public The visitation memorial will take place on Sunday while Petito’s funeral will be held on Monday Her body was discovered on Sunday in the vicinity of a remote, undeveloped campground along the border of Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.Laundrie, who has gone missing, is believed to have returned to his Florida home without Petito on September 1.He has been declared a ‘person of interest’ since he was the last to see her alive.

In Florida, searchers have been scouring the forbidding wilderness preserve near his parents’ home while looking for Laundrie.

On Facebook, mourners posted their messages of condolence to the family.One commenter wrote: ‘Gabby, You are now in the arms of the..Angel’s!’ The search began last week after Laundrie told his parents he was going there, several days after returning alone from his trip out west with Petito.Laundrie’s parents said he left their home on September 14 – but only reported him missing three days later.FBI and local police are still searching for him in Carlton Reserve, an alligator-infested reserve five miles from his home.His silver Ford Mustang was also found abandoned near the Carlton Reserve with a note requesting it be towed away.’These guys, our law enforcement partners are motivated and they are hungry to find Brian Laundrie,’ North Port Police commander Joe Fussell, who is helping to coordinate the search, said Wednesday.

‘It’s rough out there, it’s hot, it’s wet.We are trying to cover every acre in this reserve.’ On Wednesday there was a flurry of activity as divers were brought to the site, but it later emerged that there was no connection to the case.The team, made up of about 10 divers, was requested by North Port Police on Wednesday morning, said Sarasota County Sheriff’s office spokesperson Kaitlyn Perez.’These divers are specifically trained and very talented in low visibility bodies of water,’ Perez said.’They dive down where you and I can’t see anything at all.They utilize technology and other special equipment to help them get down deep into really deep bodies of water, so they’re out there right now to recover whatever it is that they might find.’ The search has cost $1.2million so far as it enters its sixth day.

A candlelight vigil was held in her hometown of Blue Point, New York on Friday Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as a homicide – meaning her death was caused by another person – but did not disclose how she was killed pending further autopsy results.On Facebook, mourners posted their messages of condolence to the family.One commenter wrote: ‘Gabby, You are now in the arms of the..Angel’s! ‘In a beautiful place where there is no more sadness nor sorrow.’You are free at last..Rest now in sweet heavenly peace!!’ The vigils were held on Friday, ahead of Petito’s funeral and cremation services on Monday Residents put up a heart-shaped memorial.Candles were handed out and $20 donations were collected for Petito’s family Posters and tributes were set up across town.A ‘Fly High Gabby’ poster was put up on a tree One resident set up a candle outside outside her driveway to show solidarity for their late neighbor Another Blue Point neighbor helped adjust candles at one of the vigil sites Residents also put together cards and notes to display in tribute of their late neighbor Other residents set put up flowers to display at one of the sites besides a display that read ‘Wings of An Angel Gabby’ The memorial sites showed off candles, cards, posters, stuffed animals and flowers dedicated to the late Peitio The site stands by a large display that reads, ‘Gabby Petito, Forever in our hearts’ ‘Shine a light for Gabby’ event took place in her hometown of Blue Point, pictured, and in West Islip A Facebook user from Idaho wrote: ‘Rest In Peace beautiful girl! Fly high with the angels! Sending love & prayers to Gabby’s family & friends!’ Another Facebook user wrote: ‘To Gabby’s Mom , Dad and Family and friends.My heart breaks along with yours on the loss of Gabby.’I hope and pray justice will be served so she can rest in peace and you all can in time have some closure on this senseless tragedy.

‘I wish I could take away some of the pain you are feeling.’ Gabby Petito’s stepfather James Schmidt has visited the exact spot where she was killed, and created a stone cross.He laid a floral tribute James Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s stepfather, traveled to Wyoming on September 14 to help the search for the 22-year-old.Four days later her body was found A memorial of stones arranged in a cross pattern was spotted Monday evening at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite east of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.On Wednesday Petito’s stepfather made a similar tribute at the exact spot where her body was found One Facebook user pleaded for the public to stay away out of deference to the grieving family.

‘Out of respect for the family, I hope strangers keep their distance,’ a concerned Facebook user wrote.’It’s going to be hard enough with every media outlet going be there.’They don’t need complete strangers too…Sending healing prayers and thoughts to the family.’ Another Facebook commenter wrote: ‘I have never met Gabby, but how could I not be affected by her passing as is all of America.’Such a tragedy to lose a child.I can only imagine what pain your family and friends are going through.’ Gabby Petito, 22, is pictured with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, in a YouTube video made to document their ‘van life’ road trip.Petito’s body was found on Sunday and Laundrie has disappeared Petito and Laundrie are seen on July 4 in Utah.

They had set out two days previously on a road trip, planning to document their journey on social media The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York.Petito was reported missing on September 11 One well-wisher commented: ‘So much sorrow, such a beautiful soul, may God’s arms comfort your pain and heartache at this time.’ A Canadian Facebook user wrote: ‘My deepest condolences to the Petito and Schmidt families.’We in Canada feel your pain on the loss of this beautiful young lady.She has touched so many hearts.’ One Facebook user wrote: ‘Words seem so feeble in moments like these.’Life is so precious, and death such a thief….

Love is a bond that death cannot part.’ Gabby’s hometown in Long Island paid a somber tribute to her on Saturday.The ‘Light the Night for Gabby Petito’ event took place in Blue Point and West Islip as neighbors lit candles throughout the towns in memory of Petito .Hundreds of candles had been given out throughout Blue Point as organizers also collected $20 donations to deliver to Petito’s family, ABC 7 reports.The community also decorated thousands of trees with blue ribbons to honor the 2017 Bayport-Blue Point High School graduate.Dorothy Johnson, of Blue Point, told News 12 , ‘For me it’s important just to acknowledge Gabby, to support the family throughout the whole community, not only our community but throughout Long Island.Many people are lighting a candle.’ Jennifer Horton, of Blue Point, also put candles outside her driveway to honor Petito.

‘When the community loses one, we all do,’ says Horton.’So just remember the great life she had.Losing her so young and just to really celebrate her life.’ Search teams are pictured on Wednesday heading into the Carlton Reserve in Florida The Carlton Reserve has been the focus of a search for Laundrie since his car was found at the site on Sunday Laundrie was apparently an avid reader, with some pointing to a video on the couple’s YouTube page showing him reading a book about a missing woman.He is seen here camping on the Appalachian trail with Petito in March for her birthday Joseph Petito, Gabby’s father, confirmed that he funeral will take place at the Moloney Funeral Home, in Holbrook, on September 26.The funeral home told The Sun that a memorial service was being held on Sunday for Petito’s cremation.The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation through the Johnny Mac Foundation.

Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, had visited the exact spot where her body was found in Wyoming, and created a memorial to the 22-year-old New Yorker.

Schmidt, who is married to Petito’s mother Nichole, traveled from New York to Wyoming last week to help with the search for the missing ‘van life’ traveler.She had been reported missing on September 11, and he set out on September 14.Her body was found on September 19.

On Wednesday Schmidt made a stone cross at the site where Petito was discovered, Fox News confirmed.He left yellow and white flowers on the site, beneath the trees.A similar memorial had been made on Monday, on an open patch of muddy land on the banks of a river near the campsite.Gary Rider, a friend of Schmidt, said the pair had visited the site on Wednesday and that they had left some flowers next to the other cross.

‘We did go – the small cross with flowers was made by Jim and myself,’ he told The Independent.’That larger cross was not done by anyone connected with the search or recovery of Gabby.’ Nina Celie Angelo (left) of New Orleans recalled the August 27 incident in Jackson Hole, Wyoming involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie (right) Angelo, a photographer, was with her boyfriend, financial adviser Matthew England, when they stopped to have lunch at Merry Piglets sometime between 1 and 2pm.The couple was in Wyoming in late August to attend a wedding.

While dining at the restaurant, they overheard a loud conversation in which another customer, Laundrie, was heard screaming at wait staff in what appeared to be an argument over the check On Thursday, the FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest after he fraudulently used a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his.

The FBI said Laundrie is wanted for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ related to his activities between August 30 and September 1, following Petito’s death, and that he used the card to obtain items totaling $1,000 or more.The statement by the Bureau’s Denver desk says: ‘While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms.Petito’s homicide.’We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.’ Authorities are continuing to search for Laundrie, 23, who was last seen by his parents and his attorney last week.

Steve Bertolino, Laundrie’s attorney, issued a statement on Thursday evening after the FBI’s arrest warrant for his fugitive client was made public, emphasizing that the warrant was not for Petito’s death but for related activities that took place after her demise.’It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise,’ Bertolino told Laundrie and Petito were reported to have been in heated arguments prior to her disappearance and death.Nina Celie Angelo of New Orleans said she and her boyfriend were at the Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson Hole on August 27 and saw the tragic Long Island woman try to calm down the hot-headed Laundrie.’He was just very visibly angry.She was really upset.

She was crying.He immediately went to the hostess stand and was going in on the hostess and the waitress and eventually the manager,’ Angelo told GMA.’It was almost like he was screaming.

She was like ‘I’m sorry, come on just let’s just go.’ But she was physically upset, she was crying.You could feel his temper.He was angry.’ The sighting at the Jackson Hole restaurant places Petito 300 miles north of Salt Lake City and just 45 miles from the Wyoming campground in the Grand Tetons where her remains were found.Moab City Police Department announced that they will launch an independent investigation into their officers’ handling of another domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito that took place on August 12.

Moab City Police Department and the City of Moab an investigation into officers’ handling of a domestic dispute between Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito a month before she was found dead in Wyoming Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’ Police found Laundrie with scratches to his face, with Petito claiming she’d hit him with a phone while battling her OCD.Officers deemed her to be the ‘primary aggressor’ and separated the couple for the night to try and defuse the tension between them, but neither were arrested.That has subsequently triggered allegations that investigating the incident more deeply might have saved Petito’s life, although other’s have countered by hailing the cops’ calm handling of the couple.The recorded encounter began after a chilling 911 audio captured a caller in Utah reporting a domestic abuse incident involving Petito and Laundrie that claimed Laundrie slapped her.In the audio, obtained by, the male caller tells a Grant County sheriff that a ‘gentleman’ in a white van with a Florida license plate had slapped a girl in the vehicle before driving away.The man also mentions the incident had happened ‘by Moonflower’ – likely referring to the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, where Laundrie and Petito stayed the night of August 11 and where they reportedly were seen having an explosive fight.’I’m right in the corner of Main Street by Moonflower and we are driving and I’d like to report a domestic dispute.

Florida with a white van – Florida license plate, white van,’ the man says before being interrupted by the officer, who asks him what he saw exactly.

‘They just drove off.They’re going towards Main Street.They made a right onto Main Street from Moonflower.We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl,’ the man continues.’He was slapping her?’ the sheriff asks.

‘Yes.And then we stopped.They ran down an up the sidewalk.He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off,’ the man says as the audio ends.Shortly after the call at 4:30 pm, Petito and Laundrie were filmed in police bodycam footage when they were stopped by Moab Police.

Moab police officers separated the couple for the night after responding to the 911 call.The City of Moab said they are ‘unaware of any breach of Police Department policy’ in their handling of Petito and Laundrie’s domestic dispute Police bodycam footage revealed the moment Utah cops asked missing ‘van-life’ woman Gabby Petito why she slapped her boyfriend Brian Laundrie in a dramatic incident 13 days before she disappeared on their cross-country trip The bodycam footage shows an officer reporting that the driver of a vehicle ahead is showing ‘obscure driving’, driving 45mph in a 15mph road, and is ‘possibly intoxicated.’ He says the vehicle has bumped a curb and puts the sirens on.

Petito later told officers that the couple didn’t drink.The officer then gets out the vehicle and approaches the couple’s white camper van, which they have pulled over.The officer asks Petito to step out of the vehicle and takes her down the road, separating the couple to ask her what happened.In the video, an emotional Petito tells officers with tears streaming down her face that she ‘was trying to get him [Laundrie] to stop telling [her] to calm down’ and admitting the couple had ‘been fighting all morning.’ In the bodycam footage from Moab officers, Petito says she suffers from OCD and anxiety, with both her and Laundrie saying she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip.

The officer tells Petito she is ‘not in any trouble’ and escorts her to the back of the cop car so she can ‘take a breath’ and have ‘a few minutes.’ Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’.He later said she was angry with him because of his dirty feet.When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin.Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation.

‘I am separating you two tonight, okay?’ the officer is heard telling Petito.The 22-year-old nods through tears in response and mouths ‘okay.’ Moab city officials released a statement on Thursday which said they were ‘unaware of any breach of Police Department policy.’ They noted that ‘individuals can view the same situation in very different ways’ and ‘recognize how the death of Ms.Petito more than two weeks later in Wyoming might lead to speculation, in hindsight, about actions taken during the incident in Moab.’ .

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