Gabby Petito's Father Says His Late Daughter Is 'Already Saving Lives': 'So Many Stories'
Gabby Petito's father believes her story is "already saving lives."
In an emotional message shared via social media on Saturday, Joe Petito said his late daughter has given others the courage to leave toxic relationships in wake of her death.
"So many stories being sent to us about relationships being left with proper planning for safety, and people are being found due to her influence," Joe tweeted with a photo of Gabby.
"We have much more work to do, but it's a start," he added.
Gabby first was declared missing on Sept. 11. Her body was found on Sept. 19 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her death was ruled a homicide, according to the FBI's Denver field office.
Petito's finacé Brian Laundrie is now wanted in connection with Gabby's disappearance. The 23-year-old was initially identified as a person of interest, but refused to offer details to investigators about his fiancée's whereabouts.
Laundrie has since gone missing, leading to a massive manhunt. Much of the search has been largely centered near his parents' home in North Port, Fla.
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An arrest warrant for Laundrie was issued in Wyoming on Sept. 23. after a federal grand jury indicted him for "use of unauthorized access devices" following Petito's death. Charging documents also allege that Laundrie utilized an unauthorized debit card with the intent to defraud.
A short time later, Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman joined the search for Laundrie, who remains a "person of interest" in the case of Gabby's death. Police have not identified him as a suspect.
At Gabby's funeral on Sept. 26, her father Joe asked mourners to "be inspired by what she brought to the table" in life, adding that she had encouraged other men and women "to do what's best for them first," especially in relationships.
"Put yourself first and do it now while you have the time," he said at the time, adding he "couldn't be more proud as a father."