Gabby Petito was laid to rest in a funeral service on Sunday, Sept. 26 after authorities confirmed that she had been killed. In spite of the horrific circumstances of her death, the 22-year-old's father Joseph Petito emphasized a hopeful message at the ceremony. The event was live-streamed online for followers to get some closure.
Petito's family held a funeral service in Holbrook, New York on Sunday where hundreds of mourners gathered to say their goodbyes. Petito's remains were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming last week, and authorities believe she was murdered. She was on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who is currently at large. However, Petito's father said that he is still inspired by Gabby today, and that he hopes her story won't dissuade people from living the way she did.
Gabby's father and stepfather spoke at her memorial service.— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 26, 2021
Joseph Petito says he wants the world to be inspired by Gabby.
“If there is a trip you want to take – do it now while you have the time."
"If there is a relationship that might not be the best for you – leave it now.” pic.twitter.com/Q8zMQtzsc6
"Gabby is the most amazing person I've ever met," he said in his eulogy. "I'm asking that you guys to be inspired by the way she treated people, all people...She genuinely loved people. When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table. I couldn't be more proud, as a father."
"If there's a trip you want to take, take it, now," Joseph Petito went on. "Do it now while you've got the time. If there is a relationship that you're in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now."
Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11, and her disappearance quickly gained national attention. She was extremely active on social media, meticulously documenting her travels on Instagram and YouTube, so the sudden lack of updates caused alarm among her followers as well. According to a report by NBC News, Petito's posts confirm that she was alive in Utah, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming, but she was not with Laundrie when he arrived at his home in Florida on Sept. 1, driving her campervan.
Petito's family said that their last contact with her was in late August. Laundrie's family said that they last saw him on Sept. 14. Right now, authorities are treating Laundrie as a person of interest, not a suspect in Petito's murder, but he is still wanted for unauthorized use of Petito's debit card after she died. A federal warrant for his arrest has been issued.