Home US News Gabby Petito’s dad joins ‘America’s Most Wanted’ season finale as revived show...

Gabby Petito’s dad joins ‘America’s Most Wanted’ season finale as revived show celebrates major capture


Joe Petito, the father of slain travel blogger Gabby Petito and an advocate for domestic violence victims and missing persons, joins co-hosts John and Callahan Walsh Monday evening for the season finale of “America’s Most Wanted” – as the show celebrates its first successful capture since returning to FOX.

Petito said he could not delve into specifics ahead of the episode but told Fox News Digital it was an honor to share the stage with the Walshes.

The season finale is titled, “Young Love Ends in Murder” – which would have applied to his daughter’s tragic case.

“He has gone through hell and back as my parents did,” co-host Callahan Walsh told Fox News Digital. “My father and Joe are both members of a very small club, parents of murdered children, a club that no one wants to be a part of.”


The elder Walsh famously kicked off a crimefighting career after losing his firstborn son Adam to a horrific abduction and murder in 1981. He was 6.

The family patriarch launched “America’s Most Wanted” in 1988 to help other families through their own quests for justice.

This year, Callahan Walsh, the executive director of Florida’s branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, joined his father on the set.

He said the two connected after Gabby Petito vanished in the summer of 2021.

“Joe has been doing a great job of healing – and also fighting back,” he said. “The Gabby Petito Foundation, missing people groups, as I watched my parents make sure that Adam didn’t die in vain, Joe’s doing the same with Gabby.”


Petito’s parents have been busy through the foundation, successfully lobbying for reforms at the state and federal level. Their efforts have contributed to the bipartisan Help Find the Missing Act in 2022 and a new domestic violence program in Utah.

In Florida, where the family now lives, Joe Petito said the family is pushing a domestic violence “lethality assessment protocol” bill that has already cleared several legislative hurdles and is close to a floor vote. He met with New York’s governor last week.

The appearance comes just days after Gabby Petito’s parents settled a civil lawsuit against the family of her suspected killer, Brian Laundrie, and their lawyer, Steve Bertolino. 

“Joe and Tara Petito, along with Nichole and Jim Schmidt, have endured a difficult and emotional 2 and a half years, resulting in a resolution through mediation on February 21, 2024,” the family said through their attorney.

“Throughout this time, the primary objective of Gabby Petito’s family in pursuing litigation was to seek answers to lingering questions. Having obtained those answers through depositions, their focus now shifts to spending time with and prioritizing their families and fostering the Gabby Petito Foundation.”

The foundation aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and missing person cases while lobbying for state and federal laws to protect victims of partner abuse.

Monday night’s episode is also expected to highlight the landmark first capture of the show’s return to FOX television and streaming on FOX Nation.


Police arrested a suspected Florida child molester whose alleged victims included his own granddaughter just days after his family teamed up with “America’s Most Wanted” to raise awareness about the case.

Davie Albarran, 51, had been on the run since 2022 for alleged sexual battery and lewd conduct toward two young children. When his daughters, Ana and Yaneiry Albarran, learned of the accusation, they kicked off a viral social media campaign that garnered more than 80 million views online – and the attention of the team at “America’s Most Wanted.”

“We’ll catch that dirtbag,” host John Walsh vowed on the air last week. “I guarantee it.” 

Albarran is now being held without bail at the Polk County Jail, where he is expected to remain until his transfer to face trial in Osceola County.

“That’s what the show is about,” Joe Petito said.

According to the “America’s Most Wanted” team, Albarran’s arrest brings the total captures as a result of the series to 1,192 wanted criminals.

‘America’s Most Wanted’ season finale airs tonight from 8 to 9 PM ET/PT on FOX.

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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