Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to “America’s daughter” Gabby Petito in a moving memorial that featured eulogies from her parents and several others. News agencies said more than 1,000 mourners showed up at her public memorial in Blue Point, New York on Sunday. There were several public memorials across the country this weekend for her as well.
Joe Petito, Gabby Petito’s dad, told the gathered crowd and the millions listening around the world that he hopes his daughter should be an example for others.
“When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table,” he said, according to CBS News. “…If there’s a trip that you guys want to take, take it,” he said. “Now, do it now while you’ve got the time. If there’s a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now.”
Gabby Petito died while on a cross-country trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, to visit national parks. She disappeared late last month at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. FBI agents located her body earlier this month. Authorities want to question Laundrie about her final days, but he disappeared earlier this month.
While Laundrie is the topic of national speculation, he wasn’t much of a factor Sunday during the memorial. Few people dwelled on how Gabby Petito died.
“Gabby, at 22 years old, helped teach me that you can always make money but you can’t make up for lost time,” her stepdad Jim Schmidt said. “Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by, to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world as she did. To love and give love to all like she did.”
Reward To Find Brian Laundrie Reaches $30,000
Brian Laundrie allegedly packed a backpack and told his parents on Sept. 14 he was going to visit a wildlife preserve near their family home in Sarasota Country, Florida. No one saw him after that. Though, some are highly dubious of his parents‘ claims as they waited days to report him missing and stonewalled the investigation before that.
Finding him is now a national concern. And to help get more people to speak with police, a patchwork of people and organizations are offering cash for information that leads to his capture. In total, they’re offering $30,000 for information that could help police.
Jerry Torres, a neighbor of Gabby Petito, started the efforts when he offered $5,000, New York Post said. Boohoff Law, a law firm with offices across the country, upped the ante with a $20,000 reward.
“We believe by offering a reward, it may help law enforcement get answers and bring justice for Gabby,” a spokesperson for the law firm said.
Others have contributed to the amount, including former police chief Steve Moyer. He said he hopes the incentive gets anyone who knows where Brian Laundrie is hiding to come forward.
“Money gets people to talk,” he told a CNN affiliate.
Authorities haven’t named Laundrie a suspect in the death of Gabby Petito. He’s only a “person of interest” in that aspect of the case, but police did issue a warrant for his arrest for fraud for his actions following her death.