SPARCC says Gabby Petito Case Raised Awareness of Domestic Violence on the Suncoast

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 8:57 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Two years ago on Sep. 19th, Gabby’s remains were found in Wyoming at the Grand Teton National Park. With the Somber Anniversary, The Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center in Sarasota said Gabby Petito’s case has helped raise awareness of domestic violence on the Suncoast.

“When it’s a local family or a local survivor it also brings more awareness to the community and the area. People tend to pay a little more attention because it’s something in their neighborhood or in their county,” said Sigrid, InVest Advocate for SPARCC.

The case did have a connection to the Suncoast requiring the help of the North Port Police Department.

“Our only involvement in this case was the missing person for Brian Laundrie,” said Josh Taylor, the Public Information Officer for North Port Police Department.

Gabby was reported missing on Sept. 11th and then on Sept. 17th, Brian went missing from his home in North Port. NPPD explained there were a lot of elements in the case that people found interesting.

“The distance was so big. I mean it went from Florida to New York to Utah. So, you had that. You had the mystery that surrounded that, and you had the looking for these folks,” said Taylor.

Additionally, Taylor said this took place during the COVID pandemic.

“A lot of people, you know, were kind of playing online sleuths and that sort of thing. So, it was very but I don’t know that it would be anything that you would predict. That it would become so big,” said Taylor.

Gabby’s remains were found two days after Brian went missing and it took another month before his remains were found in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County on Oct. 20th. Gabby’s death was ruled a homicide and Brian’s death was a gunshot to the head.

Sigrid explained if anyone needs SPARCC’s services, call their 24-hour crisis hotline at 941-365-1976.