'Irreplaceable' 14-year-old Gabby Petito was in Sandy Hook tribute video

'Irreplaceable' 14-year-old Gabby Petito was in Sandy Hook tribute video
Gabby Petito was featured in a Sandy Hook tribute video at the age of 14 (Twitter/@HAvni2861)

When she was 14, Florida vlogger Gabby Petito, who was found dead last week, was featured in a music video of a song that was produced as a tribute to the Sandy Hook shooting. The song will be re-recorded to honor Petito's memory and raise money for the foundation set up in her name. 

Petito's body was found in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park, and her death has been ruled a homicide. Petito, 22, and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, had been traveling across America in a converted Ford Transit van for nearly two months. But while Laundrie returned to his parents' Florida home by himself on September 1, Petito was reported missing on September 11, more than a fortnight after her mother last spoke to her on phone. Meanwhile, Laundrie refused to cooperate with detectives working the case and mysteriously disappeared on September 12. Laundrie was named a "person of interest" last Wednesday, on September 15, and currently has a federal arrest warrant out against him. Authorities have continued their search for Laundrie, who has been missing for more than a week.


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The Sandy Hook shooting is the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in US history when 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire in December 2012, killing 26 people, including 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Earlier that day, he had also shot and killed his mother. Deb Henson, a musician from Long Island, decided to write a song inspired by the 2012 shooting. At the time, Henson contacted Gabby Petito’s stepmother, through a friend of a friend and she agreed to let Gabby, who was 14 at the time, and her two younger brothers appear in the music video. The Sandy Hook tribute song 'Irreplaceable,' isn’t available to watch online and was filmed in Long Island over a weekend in 2013. In the video, Gabby Petito sat under a tree holding a sign that said: “I’m irreplaceable”.

'Whole new meaning' after Petito's death


Henson told Independent that the music video has “taken on a whole new meaning” after Petito was killed. “It’s almost surreal, seeing her in that video. Gabby was just this sweet kid. Her smile lit up the room. She was full of love,” said Henson, who is currently working as a talent manager in Nashville. She added, "This family, this horrific thing that’s happened to them, it makes me so angry, so upset. When I watch the video, I get so emotional. My hearts and prayers are with them. If it brings awareness, that’s fantastic because that’s what it was intended to do."

As a tribute to Petito and to raise money for her foundation, Henson wants to re-record the song. To do so, she has enlisted the help of one of her artists, Gabby Mooney, who is the younger sister of country singer Shay Mooney, to help record the song. All proceeds will go to the Gabby Petito Foundation, which aims to raise funds to help parents locate their missing children. Henson also plans to hold a charity concert in New York to raise money for missing children.

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