Update: The statements to Salon are edited to remove the “e” from The Daily, and a “d” from Newmarket. The Daily is owned by the Tribune Company; Newmarket is a subsidiary of The Daily.
David Petito’s brother R, uncle of 23-year-old Gabby Petito, was responding to media reports this weekend that its reporter, Bridget Bowman, had spoken with the family via phone to hear first-hand their reaction to the death of Michael, Gabby’s boyfriend.
“Because of the lack of actual information (chilling lack of it) from the CNN/New York Post piece, I let her my views on the missing persons case,” R Petito wrote. “So, she got what she wanted. The Petit family, I am sure, will also be subjected to the journalistic frenzy.”
Gabby’s mother Jane shouted, “Are you fucking kidding me! Gabby! Gabby!” as she watched Bowman’s report air earlier this week, according to NBC Connecticut.
Jane Petit e-mailed Bowman earlier this month, asking for help in finding her missing teenage daughter. Bowman was reluctant to go public with the information she knew, including the fact that police wanted to interview some of the people Petit’s daughter and Michael Kerkowski, her ex-husband, knew.
Bowman said the police wanted her to talk to someone in particular, that she eventually met in person.
Petit, her husband Michael and their daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were killed inside their home on July 23, 2007, in Cheshire, Conn. They were bound and attacked with a blowtorch, sledgehammer and a baseball bat, according to authorities. Their attacker, later identified as Christopher Conley, was also killed. Michaela’s body was found in the trunk of their car.
An investigation confirmed Petit and Kerkowski were killed in the manner the Petit’s family suspected. Their former home was subsequently demolished.
Blumenthal and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., are promising to follow this latest incident closely.
Stemming from the deadly 2007 home invasion, General Electric has agreed to spend $16.9 million, and create 125 new jobs in Cheshire. Since the attack, several investigations have been conducted into the events surrounding the Petit house invasion.
“The Petit family deserved better,” Blumenthal said in a written statement, “that when the victims of this crime needed them, law enforcement failed to protect them, and an investigator ignored the family’s repeated pleas for information about the attacks.”
Secretary of Commerce Heather Wilson has put together a task force which will investigate the handling of the event, and will provide insights and recommendations to both Sen. Chris Murphy and Blumenthal.
In addition, every government employee with any role is required to undergo training which focuses on how to monitor, record and then report important information in a case such as this one.
Meanwhile, the man who claims to be the chief crime-scene investigator for the State of Connecticut Police has issued a statement accusing the attorney for the family who took over the case, George Jepsen, of withholding crucial evidence.
“I would imagine if you offered an attorney the opportunity to be indemnified by the state if he did not provide complete and accurate information, he would take the same opportunity to do so,” Jepsen’s statement said.
“In his zeal to defend the client, it is certain that, as the attorney for the Petit family, Jepsen will protect the family to the fullest extent of the law. But it would be unfortunate if Jepsen’s job was to hide and obstruct the truth in this case, or any other case.”