Petito family marks one year since Gabby’s murder


NORTH PORT, Fla. — Gabby Petito’s family members gathered at her permanent memorial outside of the North Port City Hall to remember her and others who have not survived domestic abuse.

The memorial is a bench decorated with butterflies, her name and her favorite quote she had tattooed on her arm.

Gabby’s family members met at her memorial on Saturday to release monarch butterflies, leave flowers and paint shells and rocks which resemble some of her favorite things.

They also left messages saying they love her and are with her.

Around this time last year, Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were traveling across the country together.

They were in Moab Utah when police officers first pulled the couple over because of what looked like domestic violence.

“Oftentimes what you will find is that there has been a fight,” FGCU Professor of Forensic Psychologist David Thomas said.


He is referring to one of the signs of domestic violence.

“Black eyes, I ran into the door, or something like that or you may even see cigarette burns. Bruises on the arm. What you see often is that there is heavy makeup to cover those things up.”

A few days after that sighting, Laundrie returned home to North Port alone without Gabby.

“As long as that perpetrator has power and he has the control it’s very difficult for people to kind of walk away from that,” Thomas said.

After that, Laundrie went missing, and was eventually found dead after taking his own life

His journals were released where he admitted to killing Gabby back in Utah.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Brian Laundrie’s notebook revealed months after murder of Gabby Petito

Gabby’s family did not want to go on camera at her memorial, but they told us they want her death to serve as a reminder to look out for domestic violence. Which, Thomas said is one of the ways some families of domestic violence victims can try and release some guilt thinking they should have helped sooner.

“Probably the best way to deal with this is undoubtedly getting involved in organizations that are looking to combat this issue or address this issue and give support to victims,” Thomas said.

The abuse could be happening to someone very close to you, like it did for Gabby.

That is why they encourage you to light up the night, in honor of Gabby’s legacy and in honor of domestic violence victims.

Tags: domestic abusefamilyGabby PetitomemorialmurderNorth Port


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