Gabby Petito’s Death Is ‘Heartbreaking’

Kidnapping and sexual assault survivor Elizabeth Smart reflected on the disappearance and killing of Gabby Petito, calling the case that has gripped the nation “heartbreaking.”

“In Gabby’s case in particular, I mean, I was alive, and I came home, and her’s, tragically, has not ended that way,” Smart said during an episode of “Red Table Talk” released Wednesday. 

“But knowing what it’s like being on the other side and potentially what may have happened and what may have led up to her final moments, and understanding probably a lot of what she was feeling, it’s heartbreaking,” said Smart, a child safety activist. 

Petito, 22, went missing during a summer cross-country road trip with her now-missing fiancé Brian Laundrie — the sole person of interest in the homicide case. 

Her body was discovered last month at a remote campsite in Wyoming, more than two weeks after authorities say Laundrie returned home to Florida with the van the couple was traveling in and without Petito. 

A coroner revealed Tuesday that Petito died by manual strangulation. 

Gabby Petito has been missing for nearly three weeks.

Gabby Petito speaks to the camera in her only YouTube upload.

YouTube/Nomadic Statik

In Smart’s case, the now-32-year-old married mother of three was abducted from her Utah home at knifepoint when she was 14-years-old, held captive by a couple, and repeatedly raped and abused for nine months before she was ultimately rescued. 

“When I was being taken up into the mountains that first night that I was kidnapped, I asked him if he was going to rape and kill me and if he was going to do that could he please do it fairly close to my house because it was important to me that my parents find my body and know that I hadn’t run away,” Smart said on “Red Table Talk.”

Asked if she always had hope that she would be saved, Smart said: “I always wanted to be rescued. I don’t know that I always had hope. There was some pretty dark times for sure.” 

Smart added, “When I think of Gabby Petito, when I think of all these other victims, I feel like they still deserve just every bit as much to be found so that their stories have an ending, as well.”



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