Mourners gather in person and online for Gabby Petito's funeral

Mourners gather in person and online for Gabby Petito's funeral
© Getty Images

A large crowd of gathered in a chapel and many more joined online for Gabby Petito’s public funeral service on Sunday, as the search for her former fiancé pressed on. 

Video footage taken at the Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home on Long Island, New York — near where Petitio grew up in Blue Point, New York — showed a wall in the chapel full of photos of Petito.

A line of mourners was also seen paying their respects to Petito and her family.


An altar at the front of the chapel was filled with flowers and memorial candles, according to ABC News.

Petito’s family sat in the front row of the chapel as friends, relatives and strangers passed by and offered their condolences.

Individuals at the chapel received a prayer card that featured the poem “Let it be,” which was a phrase that Petito had tattooed on her arm, according to ABC News.

Petito’s father Joseph and her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, the former Blue Point fire chief, spoke at the service.

Joseph Petito said his daughter had “ridiculously blue eyes,” adding that “her nature was always to smile and treat everybody kind,” according to ABC News.

“I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby,” he said.

“If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now,” he added.

Schmidt said that regardless of his years of arranging funerals and delivering eulogies as a firefighter, he was not prepared for the current moment.

“Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children. This is not how life is supposed to work,” he said.

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after she disappeared during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé. They were traveling to national parks and had been documenting their visits on YouTube and Instagram.

The FBI on Tuesday confirmed that remains found in Wyoming were those of Petito. The FBI said the initial determination on the manner of her death was homicide.

Authorities are now looking for Brian Laundrie, Petito’s fiancé, who was previously named a person of interest in Petito’s death. The FBI issued a warrant for his arrest on Thursday, over his allegedly illegal use of a credit card. 

Laundrie returned to his North Port, Fla. home on Sept. 1 with Petito’s 2012 Ford Transit van, which has since been taken by authorities and processed as evidence.

He was last seen by his parents earlier this month.