Online retailers such as Amazon and Etsy have drawn criticism for profiting off the death of Gabby Petito â the 22-year-old New York woman who grabbed national headlines after she went missing following a cross-country trip with her fiancÃ©, Brian Laundrie.
As the search for Laundrie, who was named as a "person of interest" in the case, continues, sellers on the above-mentioned websites started selling merchandise, including t-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, decorative pillows as well as an e-book in connection to her death, which was ruled as a homicide on Tuesday.
Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned home to Florida alone following the couple's cross-country road trip. Petito and Laundrie documented their travel experiences as "van-lifers" on YouTube. Laundrie has been missing since Sept. 14.
Gabby Petito T-Shirts, Hoodies, Pillows Sold on Amazon, Etsy
As pointed out by Radar Online, a search for "Gabby Petito" on Amazon brought up several items for sale by a vendor named SHANZEI. The merchant offered men and women's t-shirts emblazoned with "Praying for Gabby Petito" and an image she posted on her Instagram page. The product, which was available in different sizes and colors, was being sold for $12.98.
The vendor was also selling two hoodies bearing similar designs â one of which includes the hashtag #FindGabby â for $29.98 each and a decorative pillow with "In loving memory of Gabby Petito" written across it. The products have since been pulled from the retailer's website but were listed for sale on Monday, the day after her human remains were found in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
SHANZEI is a third-party apparel merchant that's linked to China, as its seller profile indicates that the items ship from Yuanqu County Jinfeng Trading Company.
Similar results popped up on Etsy. Messages like "In Loving Memory of Gabby Petito," "R.I.P. Gabby Petito" and "Justice for Gabby Petito" â as well as photos of the influencer â were splashed across the majority of the website's T-shirts, hats and pillows, which range in price from $9.99 to $35.
E-Book Sold on Amazon's Kindle Store
As far as the e-book is concerned, it was available on Amazon's Kindle Store until a few hours ago. The book, titled Gabby Petito: Everything You Need To Know About The Missing Travel Influencer by Victor Micah, is no longer available for sale on the website. However, according to The Sun, it was listed under "memoir short reads" and retailed for $2.99.
The description of the book was reportedly as follows: "Who Gabby Petito really is; [about] Gabby's disappearance; Where and how her dead body was found; and proof that Brain Laundrie [sic] - Gabby's boyfriend - killed her."
A search for "Victor Micah" on Amazon shows that he has authored several other short "biographies" on celebrity deaths and trending topics.
Social Media Outrage
People on social media were outraged that the third-party sellers were able to market the products and profit off of Gabby's death on both Etsy and Amazon. Here are some of the reactions:
This is not the first time an Etsy has drawn criticism for allowing a third-party seller to market products and profit off a tragedy. Last month, the retailer faced backlash for selling t-shirts mocking Afghan citizens who plummeted to their death iin an attempt to flee the Taliban as the terrorist group seized control of Kabul, as previously reported.