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North Port, Fla. — Colorado artist Diego Jaguarte’s mural of multicolored angel wings in an old Colorado town has taken on a whole new meaning following the tragic death of 22-year-old Gabby Pettito.

Petito posted a photo of himself in front of a colorful mural on his Instagram page in 2019, and it has since appeared in various news outlets as well as in posters and T-shirts commemorating the young woman’s life.


Gabby Petito Memorial Bench to be Built in North Port, Florida

“It’s different now. For me, it changed,” Jaguart told Granthshala News about the meaning behind the mural he created for Valentine’s Day two years ago. “It’s… bittersweet, you know? My sensation is respected now… because people love murals, but for the first time, I felt so sad.”

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The artist, who is originally from Argentina and moved to Colorado five years ago, “refreshed the graffiti” by adding “more intense colours” earlier this week after receiving renewed attention following Petito’s death.

Jaguarte has been an artist for nearly 40 years and has painted murals in Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, and other countries throughout South America.

“My mother is a very visionary person,” he said. “She supported me – a lot – to [take] classes for drawing, ”he said.

Jaguart said he loves the “quality of life” in Colorado and is grateful to be there and to share his artwork with others.

Petito was traveling cross country in a Ford Transit van over the summer with her fiancé, Brian Laundry, before her parents reported her missing on September 11. Eight days later, the FBI discovered his remains in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Moose, Wyoming, one of his travel destinations.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced on October 12 that the young woman had died of strangulation.

Laundry returned to North Port, Florida without him on September 1 in Petito’s van. Her parents reported her missing on September 17. He is a man with an interest in Pettito’s murder and is wanted on charges of debit card fraud.