2:28 PM PDT, September 28, 2021
The family and their representatives fielded questions from the press, gave insight into their period of mourning and expressed gratitude for the public’s support after Petito’s body was found in Wyoming.
“I actually like to thank all you guys,” Gabby’s father Joe Petito said. “Ladies and gentlemen of the media, press. Especially the people that are behind the camera. They don’t get enough credit for what it is that they do, and so I do appreciate all of them.
“Social media has been amazing, so I’d just like to thank everyone for that. It is greatly appreciated. That was very helpful in bringing our daughter home. So thank you very much.”
They also revealed they had all gotten tattoos the previous evening to honor Gabby. “I wanted to have her with me always,” Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother, said.
Stafford also spoke about the support the family has gotten.
“That nightmare became a reality when the Grand Teton search and rescue team located their beautiful daughter,” he noted.
“During that time, they had an outpouring of love and affection and sympathy from not just their family and friends, but from the law enforcement community, the press, and from people around the world. And for that, they thank you.”
He also revealed that the family had started a Gabby Petito foundation.
“Gabby Petito loved life, loved people, and loved experiences,” he said. “She was the bright light in everyone’s life that knew her. Gabby’s family does not want that light to dim, and they want to make some good from this awful tragedy. That’s why they’re starting the Gabby Petito foundation.”
According to the website, the foundation is in development.
Meanwhile, the manhunt for Gabby’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, continues. Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Gabby’s death.
“For the Laundries’ silence, the Laundries did not help us find Gabby,” Stafford added.
“They’re sure not gonna help us find Brian. For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself into the FBI and the nearest law enforcement agency.”