(AP) — The family of slain traveler Gabby Petito is imploring the public and news media to put the same energy into helping find other missing people as they did their relative, a 22-year-old woman who vanished on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend.
Petito’s parents and stepparents spoke at a news conference in Bohemia, New York, wearing fresh tattoos featuring her designs and mantra, “Let it be.” Meanwhile authorities in Florida continue searching for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, — a person of interest in her case.
A lawyer for Petito’s family, Richard Stafford, renewed calls for Laundrie to turn himself in and criticized his parents for what he said was a lack of cooperation in the search for Petito. The Laundries released a statement Monday saying they weren’t helping him flee.
Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of color, with some commentators describing the intense coverage of her disappearance as “missing white woman syndrome.”
Joseph Petito thanked the news media and social media for spotlighting his daughter’s disappearance, but he said all missing persons deserved the same attention.
Photo: Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, whose death on a cross-country trip has sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, speaks alongside, from left, Tara Petito, stepmother, Joseph Petito, father, Richard Stafford, family attorney, and Jim Schmidt, stepfather, during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Bohemia, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joh