Thursday, October 21, 2021

Petito case sparks missing person debate

Carly Newton

In the past few weeks, social media has been filled with pictures of 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito. Her disappearance and murder has captivated the nation, and it seems as if the entire internet has been conducting their own investigation.

There has been backlash to the amount of attention Petito’s case has gotten. Some people believe that she has received more publicity than others who have gone missing, such as the 710 Native Americans in Wyoming. 

In a Washington Post article, one MSNBC host, Joy Reid, said that the Petito coverage was an example of “missing white woman syndrome.”

Statements like these are uncalled for and disrespectful. People need to learn to think before they speak. While it is a valid point that everyone deserves the same amount of media attention regardless of race, people like Reid never express this opinion until someone like Petito goes missing. 

It is never easy to hear about a young woman’s disappearance, and it’s even more sickening to know that there are people in this world who are responsible for it. 

It makes sense why so many internet users want to get to the bottom of this case, if it can happen to Petito. It can happen to anyone. Hopefully those who may be responsible can be found soon so that a young woman’s family can begin to heal.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people go missing in the United States. To be specific, there is a surprising amount of people who go missing in national parks. Currently, there are 60 unresolved missing person cases in the National Park system, according to the Park Service. On Sept. 11, Petito became a part of that statistic. She was reported missing after not returning home from a cross-country trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. Petito was last seen in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

When Laundrie returned from the trip without Petito, he was unsurprisingly met with suspicion and doubt about her whereabouts. After all, how could Laundrie leave with Petito and return home without her? The whole situation was sketchy from the beginning.

Unlike many of the missing person’s cases, Petito was found relatively quickly. Her remains were found in a national park in Wyoming only eight days after her family reported her missing. It was not the outcome anybody wanted, but it’ll at least provide some closure for a grieving family. 

Petito’s fiancé has become the main person-of-interest in the now homicide case and many have assumed he is responsible for her death.

It is extremely sketchy that Laundrie himself is now a missing person. Just days after Petito had been reported missing, Laundrie could not be found. Why was it possible that the main suspect in a high-profile case was able to disappear? Where did he go? Why did the police let him out of their sights? There’s so many questions that can only be answered in time. 

A search is ongoing for Laundrie in Florida and among those looking for him is reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter. In a New York Post article, it was revealed that the reality star promised to find Laundrie before Nov. 18, and they are receiving hundreds of tips about Laundrie. It seems that it is no longer a matter of “if” Laundrie is caught but “when” he is caught.

The more publicity this case gets, the better chance Laundrie will be found soon and everyone can get the answers they have been searching for. What happened to Gabby Petito will eventually be revealed. 

 

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