The father of the slain 22-year-old, whose disappearance and unsolved homicide captured the attention of the country, said his daughter is already influencing other people to leave abusive relationships and helping other missing persons’ cases.
"She is already saving lives," Joseph Petito said of his daughter Gabby in a tweet Saturday. "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. We have much more work to do, but it’s a start."
Gabby disappeared while on a cross-country trek with her fiance Brian Laundrie and was later found dead near a campground in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming on Sept. 19. A coroner said the manner of death was homicide. The exact cause is still being determined.
Laundrie was named a person of interest in her disappearance. He remains on the run, authorities say.
"Mama bear is getting angry!" Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt said in a tweet Saturday. "Turn yourself in!
According to FOX 13 Tampa Bay, a newly-released body camera video revealed more about the complicated and tumultuous relationship between Gabby and Laundrie and a fight they had weeks before her death. The footage comes from a second officer in Moab, Utah, who responded on August 12 after two witnesses reported seeing the couple get into a violent argument in a parking lot.
Moab police ultimately decided not to file any charges and instead separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito remaining with the converted sleeper van.
Widespread news coverage of Gabby also helped searchers in an unrelated case find a man’s body not far away in Wyoming, officials said.
A team with a search dog looked for four hours on Sept. 28 before finding the body of a man matching the description of Robert ‘Bob’ Lowery, according to a Teton County Search & Rescue statement.
Lowery, 46, of Houston, went missing Aug. 20. The man’s body was found on a steep, wooded slope in the area of Teton Pass in western Wyoming.
How the man died wasn’t immediately clear. Authorities notified Lowery’s family while awaiting confirmation the body was his.
News coverage of Gabby sometimes mentioned Lowery’s disappearance. That prompted at least two people to call authorities with information about Lowery, searchers said last month.
The Teton Pass-area canyon where Lowery’s body was found is about 45 miles from where Petito was found.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.