Friends and family flock to Long Island to mourn Gabby Petito – .

Friends and family flock to Long Island to mourn Gabby Petito – .

HOLBROOK, NY (AP) – Mourning lines paid tribute on Sunday to Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old whose death on a trip across the country sparked a manhunt for her little one friend.

Among those who gathered at Holbrook, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of New York City, were family, friends, colleagues, and people who have been touched by the story of Petito even if they didn’t know her.

“She was a beautiful soul; she was full of life, always smiling, ”said Desiree Keeffe, a friend of Petito’s mother Nichole. “She gave you love. She was just a beautiful soul. She touched everyone like she did now.

Two fire engines were placed on either side of the funeral home, each with its ladder deployed, and a line of firefighters was seen parading through the building. Across the street, a chain link fence was adorned with Petito posters and messages such as “She touched the world.”

Petito was reported missing on September 11 by her parents after she did not answer calls and texts for several days as she and Brian Laundrie visited parks in the West.

His body was discovered last Sunday in a remote area of ​​northwestern Wyoming. Laundrie and Petito grew up on Long Island but in recent years have moved to Florida.

Lexi Ruiz remembers working with Petito at a nearby Patchogue cafe that Ruiz managed.

“She was always ready to help someone else,” Ruiz said. “She was just such a light. Everywhere she went, the room lit up. It’s nice to see so many people come together and support your family.

Inside the funeral home, dozens of flower arrangements and childhood photos of Petito lined the walls, some capturing his travels. A flower arrangement sent from Norwalk, Connecticut read, “I don’t know you but your story has broken me. “

Mourners were greeted with a sign bearing a poem titled “Let it Be” which began with the line “Don’t cry for me because I am free”.

Petito’s death has been classified as a homicide, meaning she was killed by someone else, but Wyoming medical examiners have not revealed how she died pending autopsy results.

The couple posted online about their trip in a white Ford Transit van converted into a motorhome. They had a physical altercation on August 12 in Moab, Utah, which led to a police stop over a possible case of domestic violence. Eventually, the police decided to separate the couple who were arguing for the night. But no charges have been filed and no serious injuries have been reported.

Investigators searched for Laundrie in Florida and searched her parents’ home in North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota.

Federal officials in Wyoming on Thursday accused Laundrie of unauthorized use of a debit card, alleging he used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make withdrawals or withdrawals. unauthorized charges valued at more than $ 1,000 during the period in which Petito disappeared. They did not say who owned the card.


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