Gabby Petito’s dad shares advice for families of murder victims

(NewsNation) — Joe Petito continues to advocate for murder victims more than a year after his daughter Gabby lost her life to domestic violence.

A new bill, influenced by the murder of Gabby, just made it through the Utah legislature.

Bill 117, also known as the domestic violence bill, requires police officers to complete what’s called a “lethality assessment” form when domestic violence is reported or suspected.

Petito said the bill is “a huge step forward,” but he’d like to see it in other states.

“It’s not just about the questions,” Petito said Monday during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “The questions are great, and the way you ask the questions are extremely important. But it’s what follows after those questions that are just as important, if not more.”

Petito also offered advice for families of other murder victims, including those impacted by the University of Idaho killings. He said having a support system is key.

“These are painful, hard ways to navigate, and sometimes your brain doesn’t exactly work. When you have a bunch of people together, … hold each other up, that helps.”

Gabby Petito, who vanished while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend in a converted camper van, was at the center of a nationwide investigation.

Investigators say Gabby, 22, was last in contact with her family in late August when the couple was visiting Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube vlog called “VAN LIFE.”  The last posts to both their Instagram accounts were from Grand Teton National Park.

In February, the attorneys representing Gabby’s parents released a photo from the slain woman’s cellphone that reportedly shows the injuries of domestic violence.

They say the selfie of Gabby shows she was violently assaulted, and likely strangled, before her interaction with Moab police. They are currently suing the Moab Police Department for the way they handled the interaction.


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