Five years after his wife and two daughters were brutally murdered, William Petit has found love again and remarried.
In 2007, Dr. William Petit‘s wife was raped and strangled while their two daughters, 17 and 11, were tied to their beds and left to die when the house was set on fire. William was brutally beaten by the intruders upstairs, but was able to escape to a neighbor’s house.
Now five years after the tragedy, William has found love again with Christine Paluf. The couple married in West Hartford, Connecticut on August 5.
William and Christine began dating in 2011 after working together at the Petit Family Foundation and were engaged in December.
After the couple got engaged, William’s former sister-in-law Cindy Hawke-Renn told PEOPLE, “This is something we’d hoped and prayed for, that Billy would one day find love again. He’s happier and more joyful, lighter.”
Reverend Richard Hawke, William’s former father-in-law, said his daughter would have wanted William to have someone like Christine in his life, also adding that he hopes William and Christine will have a children together. He also wrote a prayer that was read at the wedding.
“My theme for the prayer was this is the day for new beginnings,” he told the New York Daily News. “After having come through the home invasion and the death of his entire family … this marriage was a time for new beginnings.”
William’s former sister-in-law also attended the wedding.
“Our family needed this to help us heal,” Cindy told PEOPLE. “Making sure that he is going to move forward and have love in his life and have some joy is something that makes us feel better. It’s like a piece of our healing. We all really like Christine.”
– Jenny Pickard
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