Gabby Petito’s Dad Honors Her in Emotional Post on 1-Year Anniversary of Her Death

by Caitlin Berard

In the summer of 2021, Gabby Petito left home for a cross-country road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. Tragically, she would never return. Just one month into what they planned to be a four-month trip, Brian Laundrie returned to Florida with Gabby’s van. Gabby, however, was not with him.

Gabby Petito was deemed a missing person in late August, sparking a countrywide search that both the Petito family and the world at large hoped would end in the discovery of the young woman, alive and well. On September 19, however, Gabby’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Brian Laundrie himself had been reported two days prior and was later found dead in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida. Investigators reported that Laundrie’s cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. They also found a notebook near the body, in which Laundrie confessed to murdering his fiancee, Gabby Petito.

It’s now been a full year since the Petito family’s horrific loss. To commemorate the heartbreaking day, Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, took to social media to celebrate her impact on the world.

“Exactly 1 year ago today you were taken from us,” the grieving father wrote. “We miss you every day. We cry every day. You have inspired so many to live, travel, and leave their unhealthy relationships. We love you Gabby.”

Gabby Petito’s Family Holds Worldwide Candlelight Vigil

After the loss of their daughter, Gabby Petito’s parents and stepparents worked together to create the Gabby Petito Foundation. Since then, the foundation has worked to help those in violent relationships break free. They also assist in search efforts for missing people.

To honor the life of Gabby Petito and call attention to the estimated 10 million adults who experience domestic violence in the United States, the Petito family organized the “Light Up the Night” event, taking place tonight (August 27).

“In honor of Gabby and ALL domestic violence victims, please light up the night on the one-year anniversary of her murder, August 27th,” wrote Tara Petito, Gabby’s mother.

“In honor of Gabby Petito and all the domestic violence victims around the world, we are asking you to light up the night for those who cannot be here. Together we can end the cycle,” added her father, Joseph Petito.

“Whether a candle, lantern or string lights in your backyard, light up the darkness for a few moments to honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence,” they wrote in the worldwide invitation.