The family of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who was killed during a campervan trip, held a moving service for her over the weekend.
One week on from the sad news that 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s body had been found in a Wyoming National Park, the Youtuber’s family and friends came together to mourn their loss in a memorial service for her. During the service, her dad Joseph Petito, read a moving eulogy about his daughter, and the legacy she has left behind.
Speaking to mourners at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York, Joseph Petito said: “I don’t want you guys to be sad, to be honest with you. Gabby did not live that way. I want you to be inspired by Gabby, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what I want to see.”
“If there’s a trip that you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now, while you’ve got the time,” he continued. “If there’s a relationship you’re in that might not be good, the best thing for you, leave it,” he added.
In July, Gabby and her childhood sweetheart, Brian Laundrie, began a cross-country trip of US national parks in their converted Ford Transit van. Gabby had started a Youtube channel – Nomadic Statik – which she intended to use to document the trip, and had dreams of becoming a travel blogger.
However, on 1 September, Brian returned home to Florida without Gabby. On 11 September, having been unable to get hold of their daughter, Gabby’s family reported her missing. Her body was later discovered in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, thanks to a widespread effort from a large online community intent on working out what happened to the missing young woman.
Brian Laundrie – who has been declared “a person of interest” in the case – is now missing himself, having left home on 14 September. The FBI issued an arrest warrant for him, on suspicion of having used a debit card and PIN some time between 30 August and 1 September, for accounts that don’t belong to him for charges of more than $1,000.
Gabby Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, also spoke at yesterday’s memorial service. The celebration of her life was attended by hundreds of friends and family as well as streamed online, and saw people attending wearing teal ribbons – thought to represent the colour of Gabby’ Petito’s eyes.
“Gabby loved life and lived life every single day. She’s an example for all of us to live by, to enjoy every moment of this beautiful world,” said Schmidt.
“Although there is a lot of evil and wrong in the world, there is more good. and there is a lot of good people out there, and they’re all in this room right now and they’re all across the world and they’re with us all. I love you all.”