Gabby Petito’s Dad Posts Heart-Wrenching Tribute on National Daughters Day

by Suzanne Halliburton
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Joseph Petito tossed it back to a happier time Sunday, sharing a photo of himself with his beloved Gabby to commemorate National Daughters Day.

You could say that National Daughters Day is a holiday created solely to hype greeting cards or generate social media posts. Yet these sorts of days also are emotional for those whose daughters no longer are with them. Gabby Petito died in the summer of 2021. Her dad found a sweet family photo of father and daughter spending time together outside at a restaurant. It’s warm and pleasant. Both are smiling.

He didn’t even need to caption the photo. We all know the Petito family still is devastated over the loss of Gabby. Her dad posted the same photo on his Instagram feed.

This Month Marks Series of Gabby Petito Case Anniversaries

In the summer of 2021, Gabby Petito was living the van life, traveling across the country with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. But Laundrie returned home in late August without Gabby. He was driving her van, but didn’t say where his girlfriend was. Then days later, Brian disappeared as well.

Police categorized Gabby Petito as a missing person. That triggered a massive search for the young woman. Police found her remains in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19. An autopsy revealed she’d been strangled. Six days before police found Gabby’s body, Brian left his parents’ home in Florida. He was reported missing four days later.

After another massive search, police finally figured out Laundrie’s whereabouts. He was found dead inside the heavily-wooded Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. An autopsy showed that Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The FBI recovered a journal near Brian’s body. He’d written down his murder confession.

So this has been a difficult month for the Gabby Petito family. There has been a string of one-year anniversaries. Each date brings back the pain, putting all the heartbreak front and center again. And for each anniversary, Joseph Petito remembers Gabby with a photo.

Earlier This Month, Dad Posted Sweet Photo of His Daughter, Son

On Sept. 19, Joseph posted a photo of a younger Gabby wearing a New York Jets jersey. She’s posing with her little brother. The father of both kids wrote:

“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 Gabby Petito home. Today is particularly hard for us but if you can, please take a moment and share a missing persons story to help bring them home safe. Every story deserves the same attention. And yes I shared this picture because the New York Jets won yesterday.”