Out of a somber situation, some plea for hope appears amid Christmas and the end of 2022. The father of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who was slain by boyfriend Brian Laundrie, is trying to create a positive. Petito's death came while the couple was on a "van life" journey across the United States, one she from which she never returned.
Laundrie later returned home without Petito, raising alarms that something happened. He would later disappear into a Florida nature preserve and eventually shoot himself, committing suicide. His notebook left behind at the scene admits to the slaying of Petito.
Petito's family has been outspoken since the news grabbed headlines last year, with the legal ramifications still playing out for them in a lawsuit against police involved in an infamous stop that initially labeled Petito the aggressor and another against Laundrie's parents for wrongful death.
But for the holiday season in 2022, Joseph Petito sent out a positive message that sends a simple plea for people to adhere to in 2023. It starts where a lot of people need to venture.
Many onlookers responded to the message of positivity, offering more condolences and kind words to the grieving father. "As hard as this holiday is for [sic] ur family's I pray that God gives ur hearts some kind of peace. Happy holidays and love from me here in Alabama," one wrote. "Merry Christmas to you and your family Mr Petito and Merry Christmas to Gabby," another added, hoping they did some good. "Merry Christmas Joe! Thank you for all the work you and your family have done to keep others safe in Gabby's memory. Thinking of you all today and grateful for you," a third wrote.
The Petito family is also pushing the Help Find the Missing Act, a legislation that was passed by the Senate this month and then by the House of Representatives last week. This bill would reportedly have information on missing people entered into the FBI's internal database called the National Crime Information Center (NCIC, according to The Blast). This would then be transferred to the DoJ's database, the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System. Only 13 states are currently required to share their missing person's information with the federal database.
"Everyone deserves to be found and here's a way to have that happen," Gabby's father told reporter Kristin Thorne. "There has to be something done on the way we handle missing people. This is just a step in the right direction."