Joe Petito, the father of the murdered 22-year-old van life blogger Gabby Petito, revealed that he wants to “put meaning” behind her death by helping other domestic violence victims.
After bodycam footage surfaced showing Gabby distraught and upset after fighting with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, many people recognized signs of domestic abuse. Although the two separated that night, Gabby eventually died while the pair visited Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, without her on Sept. 1, and Gabby Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11. Authorities found her body on Sept. 19 in Wyoming, and they found Laundrie’s body in a Florida park on Oct. 21.
Near Laundrie’s remains, the authorities also found a notebook. It had been lost under several feet of water before the water receded. Authorities say it “may be salvageable,” but Joe Petito could care less about the contents of the notebook.
Joe reportedly told TMZ, “Nothing in Brian’s notebook is going to bring [my] daughter back, and whatever’s in there won’t explain how her tragic death could have been avoided.”
The father said that he “is never going to get closure from the notebook — even if cops can recover any info from it — and it’s not going to help him get over losing a child. He says the only reason he would want to know what Brian wrote would be for his own selfish gratification.”
Many people suspect that Laundrie might have written a suicide note in the book. Especially after his autopsy results were inconclusive. Others wonder if he confessed to killing Gabby Petito in the notebook. The coroners ruled manual strangulation as her cause of death.
The father also cautioned Brian Laundrie’s parents against looking too closely at the notebook. “The notebook won’t do much for Brian’s parents either, because they lost a child too. And the book won’t bring their son back either.”
Gabby Petito’s Father Joe Focusing on Domestic Violence Issues Rather Than Brian Laundrie’s Notebook
Joe Petito told TMZ that he wants to “put meaning behind” his daughter’s death. Specifically, by “making a difference with domestic violence issues.”
“Joe now wants the focus to be on how to avoid another tragic incident like his daughter’s,” TMZ reports. “He says it’s ‘insane’ to see research showing over 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced domestic violence.”
Gabby Petito’s father also told the outlet, “Society needs to figure out how to shift the shame from the victim to the abuser … and maybe that starts by having conversations that reassure victims it’s not their fault.”
Aside from having those meaningful conversations, Joe also wants to develop more resources for these victims. Specifically, he hopes “Gabby’s case helps shine a light on other missing persons who could be saved still.”