Gabby Petito’s family reveal touching tribute to daughter

·4-min read

The parents of murdered travel blogger Gabby Petito revealed on Tuesday a series of matching tattoos in honour of the 22-year-old artist.

Petito’s mum and dad, Joseph Petitio and Nicole Schmidt, and their spouses Tara Petito and Jim Schmidt, displayed the four new inkings on their arms and hands during a press conference in New York.

“These were tattoos that Gabby designed herself, she was an artist,” Mr Schmidt said.

“I wanted to have her with me all the time,” Ms Petito’s mum added, lifting up her sleeve to show a flower inside a triangle on her upper left arm — the same location her 22-year-old daughter had the design tattooed.

Petito’s mum and dad, Joseph Petitio and Nicole Schmidt, and their spouses Tara Petito and Jim Schmidt showing the tattoos.
Petito’s mum and dad, Joseph Petitio and Nicole Schmidt, and their spouses Tara Petito and Jim Schmidt, displayed the four new inkings on their arms and hands. Source: NBC2

All four parents also got a wave that Ms Petito drew and the words “Believe” and “Let it be” in cursive on their forearms.

Ms Petito had a tattoo reading “Let it be” as well as a branch of leaves winding around her finger, which Mr Petito also got tattooed on his hand.

“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened. We all had them done last night, we all did it together,” Mr Petito said.

“We always co-parented Gabby together and that's not going to stop now, we’re in this together.”

Petito family urges media to cover all missing persons

During the press conference, the Petito family announced they were creating a foundation in their daughter's name to support people searching for missing loved ones.

They also urged the media to cover other missing persons cases as extensively as Ms Petito’s has been.

“I want to ask everyone to help all the people that are missing and need help. It’s on all of you, everyone that’s in this room to do that,” Mr Petito said, pointing to the reporters and cameras in front of him.

A close up of the tattoos on Mr Petito. Source:  NBC2
Ms Petito had a tattoo reading “Let it be” as well as a branch of leaves winding around her finger, which Mr Petito also got tattooed on his hand. Source: NBC2

“And if you don’t do that for other people that are missing, that’s a shame, because it’s not just Gabby that deserves it.”

Ms Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of colour, with some commentators describing the intense coverage of her disappearance as “missing white woman syndrome.”

While the family refused to answer questions about Brian Laundrie — Ms Petito’s fiancé and a person of interest in her disappearance who remains unaccounted for — their lawyer, Richard Stafford, renewed calls for him to turn himself in.

He also and criticised Mr Laundrie’s parents for what he said was a lack of cooperation in the search that turned up Ms Petito’s remains in Wyoming on September 18.

“The Laundries did not help us find Gabby, they sure are not going to help us find Brian,” Mr Stafford said.

“For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”

Pictured is Gabby Petito. Source: Facebook
A memorial service was held for Ms Petito on Sunday on Long Island. Source: Facebook

Laundrie family denies helping Brian flee

On Monday, the Laundrie family released a statement saying they weren’t helping Brian, 23, flee.

“Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” the statement read, The Independent reports.

The Laundrie’s attorney said allegations Mr Laundrie’s parents helped him escape police authorities are “just wrong”.

The search for Mr Laundrie is generating a frenzy, with TV personalities like Duane Chapman — also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter — and longtime “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh working to track him down.

Mr Stafford said Ms Petito’s family welcomed everybody’s help in finding Mr Laundrie and encouraged people with information on his whereabouts to contact the FBI or local police.

Ms Petito’s death has been ruled a homicide but authorities haven’t disclosed how she died pending further autopsy results.

Ms Petito’s stepfather Mr Schmidt said Wyoming authorities still had possession of her remains.

While they wanted to bring her home as soon as possible, Mr Schmidt said he knows she is safe with police.

A memorial service was held Sunday on Long Island, where Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito grew up before moving to Florida in recent years.

With AP

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