US Amid attention on Petito case, Native mother seeks justice
Timeline of the Gabby Petito case
Local and federal authorities are looking for 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who was reported missing by her family over the weekend after she had been traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. © From Gabby Petito/Instagram A photo of Gabby Petito taken from her Instagram account Laundrie returned to the pair's North Port, Florida, home earlier this month without Petito and is now refusing to talk to authorities, police say. Petito's family and their attorneys have pleaded with Laundrie and his family to cooperate and help bring the girl home.
By Andrew Hay
TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - Pepita Redhair, a 27-year-old Navajo woman who dreamt of becoming an engineer and loved skateboarding, was last seen https://www.facebook.com/IndianCountrysMissing/posts/pepita-redhair-has-been-missing-from-albuquerque-new-mexico-since-march-27-2020h/1453162814865272 in March 2020 walking with her boyfriend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Redhair's disappearance was not reported in local media. Detectives said they ran out of leads, according to her mother Anita King.
Gabby Petito Has Been Missing for 6 Days: What We Know
Petito's family has continued to urge her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to come forward with any information after he returned home to Florida without Petito.Petito and Laundrie departed from Long Island, New York (where Petitio is originally from) on July 2 to travel cross-country in her white 2012 Ford Transit van. Social media posts from Petito showed that the van was outfitted as a camper.
Now King, 62, is organizing an Oct. 3 rally in Albuquerque to seek justice for her daughter after the disappearance of another young American woman, Gabby Petito, gained global attention.
"I felt like my voice wasn't important, my daughter wasn't important because she was Native American," King said on Friday from her home in Crownpoint, New Mexico.
She is being helped by Native American activists who note how much more media coverage was given to Petito, a 22-year-old white woman, compared with missing and murdered women of color.
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"It's systemic racism, it's the historical and inter-generational trauma that continues to perpetuate these stigmas that black and brown people are not as important as white people," said Jolene Holgate, a director for the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women https://www.csvanw.org in Albuquerque.
911 Caller Said He Saw Brian Laundrie Hitting Gabby Petito: 'Gentleman Was Slapping the Girl'
Police believe they have found the body of Gabby Petito, and her fiancé Brian Laundrie has gone missing"We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller tells the dispatcher.
"I want to extend our love and prayers to the (Petito) family and I'm very happy they could get that closure and I hope that they get justice," Holgate said after Petito's https://www.reuters.com/world/us/search-gabby-petitos-fiance-florida-wilderness-enters-sixth-day-2021-09-23 body was found on Sunday in Wyoming. "We really feel like our stories are not being as amplified."
State studies https://wysac.uwyo.edu/wysac/reports/View/7713 show Native people, especially women and girls, represent a disproportionately large number of missing and murdered cases but do not get equal attention from media or law enforcement.
"Deep-rooted racism and stereotypes of Indigenous women are primary causes of the unequal response in Minnesota when an Indigenous woman, girl, or two spirit person goes missing or is murdered," said a December state report.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American U.S. cabinet secretary, said on Thursday that the extensive media coverage of Petito was a reminder of the hundreds of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
Gabby Petito Timeline: What We Know So Far
The 22-year-old vlogger went missing following a cross-country trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who later returned home alone.Laundrie returned home from the trip alone at the start of September and was last seen around mid-September.
"Hopefully, the folks who are writing the news, and broadcasting the news will understand that these women are also friends, neighbors, classmates and work colleagues," Haaland, who has set up a Native missing and murdered task force https://www.doi.gov/news/secretary-haaland-creates-new-missing-murdered-unit-pursue-justice-missing-or-murdered-american, told reporters.
Redhair's mother, King, said she was finding some solace in support from Native American groups and media attention to her daughter's case, more than 18 months after she disappeared.
"It makes me feel like I'm not alone," King said.
(Reporting By Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Donna Bryson and Daniel Wallis)
Cops Who Pulled Over ‘Van-Life’ Couple Were Told Fiancé ‘Hit’ Gabby Petito .
Police officers in Moah, Utah, responding to reports of a dispute between doomed “van-life” couple Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, who is now a person of interest in her homicide, were told by dispatch that Laundrie had reportedly hit Petito during the Aug. 12 argument, newly released audio reveals. “RP [reporting party] states a male hit a female,” the police dispatcher says over the radio. “Domestic. He got into a white Ford Transit van. Has a black ladder on the back. Florida plate… The female who got hit, they both—the male and the female—both got into the van and headed north.