September 26 (CSU) –A manhunt for Gabby Petito’s fiancé continued on Sunday as family and mourners gathered for her funeral in New York. Her father and stepfather remembered her love of exploring as they spoke at the ceremony at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home in Long Island, N.Y., where she spent her childhood years in Blue Point, N.Y.
Her father, Joseph Petito, spoke about how he wants her to be influenced by Gabby. “I’d like u to take a look at these pictures and be inspired by Gabby,” he said, referring to his daughter’s photos that hung on the wall of the chapel. “Take that trip now while you still have time. Leave it
On Saturday, Gabby’s father, Joe Petito, announced the creation of The Gabby Petito Foundation to provide support and information to families of missing children. Jim Schmidt, Patitio’s stepfather, the former Chief of the Blue Point Fire Department, said that as a firefighter, he had arranged funerals and delivered eulogies, but that “parents aren’t supposed to bury their children.”
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“Gabby, at 22 years old, helped me learn that you can always generate money but not make up for a lost time,” he continued. “Gabby lived her life to the fullest and was an inspiration to all of us. She is a role model for us all in demonstrating how to love and give love to others as she did.”
Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Petito, uploaded a number of family photographs to Facebook on Sunday night, thanking those who own offered their support on social media. “With each and everybody of your messages, my heart is overflowing with love,” she added. “I wish I could reach out and hugg each and every one of you!!! We are so grateful for your support.”
Mourners in North Port, Florida, where Petito lived with Laundrie and his family, erected a memorial outside City Hall, where they left flowers, teddy bears, and notes to commemorate her death. After her family reported her missing while she and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip, Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, where it had lain for five weeks. Her death has been classified as murder.
After returning home on September 1 without her, Laundrie, 23, has been labeled a person of interest by North Port Police. On Wed, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued an arrest warrant against him after a federal grand jury indicted Laundrie on a single count of unauthorized access to a debit card and two bank accounts.
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