Brian Laundrie Update: Gabby Petito's Family Is Still Grieving, but Says Foundation in Her Honor Is Helping Them Cope
Gabby Petito's family on Tuesday said helping others and trying to make the world a better place can be seen as a form of justice for the death of Brian Laundrie's fiancee.
Petito's parents made their comments during an interview with WFLA Now after they were asked what justice for their daughter meant to them.
Members of Petito's family said justice for them was helping others, especially the victims of domestic violence, and making the world a better place.
Petito's mom, Nichole Schmidt, noted that even though she can't do it, she will try "saving the world" because "that's Gabby's legacy." Schmidt added that justice for her was "helping others."
"It's about the changes we can make. We can't change the past but we can change the future," she said. Petito's stepmom, Tara Petito, echoed what Schmidt said, noting that saving even a single person "would be justice."
"Just going forward, that's really what we would like to do. To save... or help her story get there so people know that we care," Tara noted.
The Gabby Petito Foundation
Gabby Petito's father, Joe Petito, said the family tried to stay focused and put their energy toward the foundation they put up in honor of their late daughter.
"It's hard. We're still grieving and it's going to be a process for a long time... I think starting the foundation is a way of us grieving and getting through this," Schmidt noted.
The Gabby Petito Foundation was launched in late September, shortly after federal officials confirmed the death of Brian Laundrie's fiancee.
Petito's family formed the foundation to address the needs of organizations that support locating missing persons, NBC News reported.
The foundation also aims to provide aid to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence through education, awareness, and prevention strategies. Schmidt said, "the foundation is a way of us grieving."
"For me, it means preventing this from happening to someone else... That's what we're trying to do here. And that's justice, for me, it's helping others," she added.
Petito's mother noted that they are collaborating with experts across the country to learn more about what changes should be made in the wake of their daughter's death.
Joe Petito said they were also meeting with shelters, police, rescue teams, and therapists to determine what resources are needed most.
Schmidt noted that the foundation also focused on prevention education, and trying to get the issues in schools is their ultimate goal.
"I think prevention education will help prevent us from needing all these shelters some day. We have to start while they're young and - it's not in schools, unfortunately. And it needs to be," she added.
Petito's family is also calling for a nationwide alert system for people ages 18 to 64. Schmidt said there was currently nothing for that age group.
"It would be just like the Amber Alert or the Silver Alert but it's a different age group... We hope to bring that kind of change to missing persons," she noted.
Gabby Petito's Mom Says She Did Not See Any 'Red Flags' With Brian Laundrie
Nichole Schmidt said they did see any "red flags" in their daughter's relationship with Brian Laundrie.
"I don't know why Gabby didn't open up to me about certain things... We just didn't see any red flags," Petito's mom said n an interview with Dr. Oz.
A 911 call earlier narrated a domestic abuse involving Petito and Laundrie at a community cooperative in Moab, Utah before the YouTuber was reported missing.
The man who called the emergency hotline said they saw a man, who appeared to be Laundrie, slapped Petito before the two hopped back in a van and drove off on August 12.
Shortly after the call, the couple was filmed in police bodycam footage when Moab police stopped them. In the video, Petito, who was crying, told police that they had "been fighting all morning."
Gabby Petito disappeared on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie. The couple was traveling to Oregon when the You Tuber stopped communicating with her family in Wyoming in late August.
Laundrie was named a person of interest by North Port police after returning home on September 1 or 10 days before Petito was reported missing by her family.
On September 19, Petito's body was found at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
A Teton County, Wyoming coroner said she was strangled to death by a "human being," and the manner of death was homicide.
After a month-long manhunt, the North Port police and the FBI agents found Laundrie's remains in a swampy area of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 20.
The FBI said the skeletal remains were confirmed to be Laundrie after a review of dental records. The initial autopsy did not uncover a cause or manner of his death, so the skeletal remains of Gabby Petito's fiance were sent to a forensic anthropologist for further examination.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Gabby Petito's Parents Interviewed Live by WFLA Now's JB Biunno - From WFLA News Channel 8
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