Gabby Petito’s mother has announced a $100,000 donation to fight domestic violence and help victims, and has described her daughter’s killer, Brian Laundrie, as someone who “wanted to look like the good guy”.
Nicole Schmidt said the Gabby Petito Foundation’s donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline will help other victims like her daughter who are trapped in tumultuous relationships get help.
“Our story begins because of a tragedy of domestic violence and we don’t want that to happen to anyone else,” Schmidt said on the TODAY show in an interview that aired Thursday.
The donation comes as the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s death approaches.
Gabby Petito was killed by her fiancé Brian Laundrie last year after the couple embarked on an overland trip living off a van, investigators said.
Petito’s body was found on September 19, 2021 in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. She was found to have been dead for at least three weeks and her death was ruled a homicide by “manual strangulation”.
Laundrie then disappeared and an extensive search was launched for him. His remains were found on October 20, 2021 in wetlands in Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
Laundrie wrote that he was “responsible” for Petito’s death, the FBI said.
In June, the Laundrie family’s lawyer released handwritten notes that Laundrie wrote, some of which read: “I ended her life, I found it gracious that she wanted it that way but now I see all the mistakes I made. ” NBC New York reported.
At the time, Schmidt shared a post on Twitter with an image that read, “Narcissists rewrite history to avoid accountability.”
Speaking Thursday, Schmidt doubled down on her stance.
“That was his character, even in his final moments he wanted to make sure he looked like the good guy. That’s ridiculous. We know how she died,” she said.
She believed his claims in the notes were untrue.
After Petito’s death, the National Domestic Violence Hotline saw a spike in calls and chats.
Schmidt says her family has been inundated with comments of support from the public, some from people who are themselves in domestic abuse relationships.
“We got a lot of messages and emails from people saying your daughter saved my life, I left because of her,” Schmidt said.
The donation will help the National Domestic Violence reach its $2 million fundraising goal.
“She touched the world. This whole tragedy that’s happened has a higher purpose, that’s what keeps me going,” Schmidt said.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/gabby-petitos-mother-announces-100k-donation-domestic-violence-victims-rcna41480 Gabby Petito’s mother announces a $100,000 donation for victims of domestic violence as the anniversary of her daughter’s death approaches