(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the deadly home invasion that claimed the lives of his wife and two daughters in 2007, is engaged to be married.
Petit became engaged to photographer Christine Paluf after Christmas, he told The Hartford Courant in an email. Petit, 55, told the paper there is no set date for the wedding.
Paluf, 34, is a professional photographer who specializes in weddings, events and portraits. She also photographs events for the Petit Family Foundation, which works to honor Petit’s deceased family by supporting causes including education, victims of violence and those affected by chronic illnesses.
Photos of William Petit at foundation events are part of Paluf’s online portfolio. The pair reportedly met through her photography work for his organization.
Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and the couple’s two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, were killed during a July 2007 home invasion carried out by Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.
The mother was strangled while the girls, tied to their beds, died when the house was set ablaze.
William Petit was the only one to survive. Brutally beaten with a baseball bat and left bound in the basement, he managed to escape to a neighbor’s house. Petit sat in the front row throughout the separate murder and sentencing trials of Hayes and Komisarjevsky. Both men were convicted and sentenced to be executed, and are currently on Connecticut’s death row.
“There is never complete closure when you lose your wife and family…but the first part is over and we think justice has been served,” said Petit after the jury delivered its verdict for Komisarjevsky in a Connecticut courtroom on Dec. 9, 2011.
Paluf attended the Komisarjevsky trial with Petit and his family.
“We want to go forward with the Petit Family Foundation and create good out of evil,” he said in December. “I will relax some and try to enjoy the holidays as best we can.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
Kelly Wallace, CNN
Steve Visser, CNN
Sherisse Pham, CNN