Gabby Petito’s Parents Share Touching Tributes On Christmas Without Daughter

This has been a tough Christmas for a great many people, but it’s hard to imagine many families facing a worse one than Gabby Petito‘s.

The 22-year-old went missing at the end of August and was found dead in September. The only person of interest in her brutal murder was her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who — along with his family with whom Gabby had lived — refused to help or even speak to the Petitos during the ordeal. Brian himself then disappeared and was found a month later, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

So not only did this poor family lose their daughter, they seemingly lost their chance at real closure, as the last people who might have answers about what happened are not speaking.

Related: Gabby’s Parents Give Surprising Insight Into Brian Laundrie Relationship History: ‘No Red Flags’

As we’ve said before, Gabby’s parents have turned their grief outward, becoming advocates for other missing persons and victims of domestic violence. They even formed the Gabby Petito Foundation to raise money and awareness. But on Christmas Day, facing the first one without their daughter, they took a moment and publicly mourned.

Gabby’s father Joseph Petito took to his Twitter, where he wrote:

“Merry Christmas to my baby girl in heaven. I can’t call you, I can’t hear your voice, and I can’t hug you. What I can do is say we love and miss you. Damn, today is a hard day, but we will get through this together. #neverthesame #MerryChristmas #GABBYPETITO”

Along with a photo of his daughter:

Many other family members who had lost a loved one far too young to violence responded with their own stories, providing a beautiful support network.

The next day his ex-wife, Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt, shared her own tribute, writing:

“We made it through Christmas, it was hard, sad and filled with tears. But I know you are with us always, I feel you, I dream of you, I see the signs daily. Love you Gabby, always in my heart
#missingyou #angel #justiceforgabby #brokenheart #KeepGoing #BeKind”

Awww. She added, once again thinking of others:

“Sending love and prayers to all who are going through a hard situation. May you find peace, joy, and feel the love that surrounds you. Blessings to all!
#Peace #love #dowhatsgoodforyoursoul #livelifetothefullest”

Sending our love to the Petito family, and to all the families who have lost someone this year.

[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram.]