Hospital of Central Connecticut/AP
Nicole Weisensee Egan
January 04, 2012 06:00 PM

Dr. William Petit Jr., the lone survivor of a brutal home invasion that took the lives of his wife and two daughters in July 2007, is engaged to photographer Chiristine Paluf, his spokesman Rick Healey tells PEOPLE.

The couple met while Paluf, 34, was photographing events for the Petit Family Foundation. They became engaged after Christmas but have not set a wedding date nor are they speaking publicly about their relationship.

“I’d ask the media to give the couple their privacy,” Healey says.

Dr. Petit, 55, has sat through the separate trials of both men accused of killing his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and his two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. Stephen Hayes was sentenced to death in November 2010. Last month a jury sentenced Joshua Komisarjevsky to death.

Dr. Petit will give his victim impact statement on January 27, when the judge official imposes the death sentence on Komisarjevsky.

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