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Gabby Petito's Family Reveals How They Plan To Get Justice

Gabby Petito Parents Interview WFLA Justice

We don’t know that we’ve ever seen a healthier response to what must be the hardest thing for a parent to deal with.

The parents of Gabby Petito — her mother and stepfather, father and stepmother — have banded together with strength and class after their daughter was taken from them. They’ve had plenty of reason to be more cynical — the shocking lack of cooperation from Brian Laundrie‘s family, with whom Gabby had lived for several months, the overt failings of law enforcement to protect a 22-year-old girl or to get answers about her death.

But despite all that they haven’t collapsed inward but rather focused on others. They’ve become advocates for other missing and abused young people, particularly women in domestic violence situations. It’s been truly inspiring to see.

Related: Tattooed Body Parts Found An Hour Away From Brian Laundrie Site

The foursome continued that during an interview Tuesday night on local Florida news station WLFA. Journalist J.B. Biunno asked what justice for their daughter looked like for them. It’s a tough question considering the sole person of interest in the murder was allowed to escape and then found dead himself. It doesn’t look like any closure is coming on that end. But their answer was amazingly altruistic. Gabby’s stepmom Tara Petito replied:

“If we can save just one person, that would be justice. Going forward, that’s really what we would like to do.”

Gabby’s mom, Nichole Schmidt, answered that justice would be “preventing this from happening to someone else”:

“That’s justice for me. Helping others.”

Wow. That’s just what they’ve been doing, too. They’ve been using the spotlight on their daughter’s story to direct attention to other missing persons cases and advocate for better missing persons databases and domestic violence laws.

Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, said working to decrease the scourge of domestic violence would be justice for his daughter:

“Right now, the statistics show that one in three women are victims of domestic violence or have been victims of domestic violence. If we can extend those numbers from one in three to one in four, then one to five, then one to six, if we can extend that number, keep pushing that so it’s not as prevalent in terms of domestic violence anymore, that would be justice for Gabby. Making that change to help others.”

The family created the Gabby Petito Foundation to “address the needs of organizations that support locating missing persons and to provide aid to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence situations, through education, awareness, and prevention strategies.”

Related: Gabby’s Mother Says She Didn’t See ‘Red Flags’ Of Brian Laundrie Abuse

Joe explained:

“What we’re trying to do is fill the gaps and voids where we see fit. We’re going around talking to shelters, we’re talking to police, we’re talking with rescue teams, with professionals, with therapists that know the ins and outs of what’s needed and where the resources are best needed. We’re just trying to lead that charge in terms of change, to make things better.”

One big gap they plan to fill? Nichole pointed out the need for a missing persons alert for 18-to-64-year-olds.

“There’s nothing for that age group. It would be just like the Amber Alert or the Silver Alert except it’s a different age group, and we hope to bring that kind of change to the missing persons.”

Huh. We guess Amber and Silver Alerts were created because of the vulnerabilities of those groups — but there are all too many vulnerable folks of all ages that could sometimes use that kind of emergency beacon.

Wow. No closure for their own case, and they’re already doing so much to help others. Amazing.

[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram/Dr. Oz/YouTube.]

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Nov 17, 2021 08:10am PDT