Families of missing black girls are frustrated, but not surprised, that Gabby Petito has drawn attention.
Gabby Petito’s disappearance has been widely reported in the national media in recent weeks, and efforts to locate the missing 22-year-old have sparked protests outside her fiancé Brian Laundrie’s Florida house as well as thousands of social media posts demanding justice.
However, for some families whose loved ones remain missing and undetected by most media channels, watching the nation mobilize to find Petito, whose death was ruled a homicide on Tuesday, has been bittersweet, according to Derrica Wilson of This website.
Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of the Black and Missing Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of missing people of color and advocating for their families.
Wilson said of the families she works with, “It truly affects them, and that’s an understatement.” “As a parent, a sibling, or a grandmother, not knowing if your loved one is secure, if they’re hungry, if they’re being abused, if you’ll see them walk through the front door again—that hits you hard.”
“My heart breaks for [the Petito]family and any other family dealing with this. Wilson continued, “It’s a nightmare.” “However, there are many Gabby Petitos in the Black and Brown community. We recognize that not every case receives that degree of attention and resources—there were numerous police jurisdictions involved—but we do have cases that require it.”
While many on social media have mobilized to bring attention to the Petito case, others have criticized the media coverage of the case, claiming that missing persons in Black communities have rarely, if ever, received as widespread public anger or national attention.
On Sunday, author Don Winslow tweeted, “I am 67 years old.” “I’ve never seen the disappearance of a young Black woman covered. like the absence of #gabbypetito Not even once. That is completely incorrect.”
“I’m delighted #GabbyPetito’s disappearance has gotten so much attention and there’s been a thorough investigation,” wrote journalist Ana Navarro-Cárdenas. My prayers are with her and her family. I simply want the same amount of attention and focus paid to every missing young lady in America, whether she is Brown, Black, Native American, or transgender.”
Joy Reid, an MSNBC host, has received backlash from conservatives in recent weeks for mentioning Petito’s coverage. This is a condensed version of the information.