Gabby Pettito’s father shared an emotional message and some life advice at the travel blogger’s funeral, especially for “women in relationships” as the FBI continues its search for her missing boyfriend, Brian Laundry.
Speaking at a packed funeral home on Long Island on Sunday, Joe Pettito remembered his 22-year-old daughter, whose life was cut short, and asked people to draw inspiration from her.
“If there’s a relationship you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, just leave it. Take care of yourself first,” he told the women at the funeral.
He continued: “I want you to watch these videos [of Petito’s travels] And I want you to take inspiration from him. If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. When you have time, do it now.”
“Gabby is the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” he said. “So, if you’re going to leave today, I’m asking you to be inspired by the way he treated people, everybody.”
“The whole planet knows this woman’s name,” said Mr. Petito in his eulogy, explaining his passion for new experiences like scuba diving or surfing sand dunes.
Hundreds of people attended Petito’s funeral on Sunday, even people who didn’t know him personally. Many people came to support him carrying banners.
According to reports that have surfaced since his death, the relationship between Petito and Mr. Laundry was strained. On August 12 in Moab, Utah, a fight between the couple became a police affair and bodycam footage showed Petito distressed. However, no charges were leveled and no one was injured.
Mr Laundry and Petito told officers they were suffering from a mental breakdown.
Recently, another witness also claimed to have seen the couple fight “aggressively” on their cell phones during an argument in Utah on August 12.
Meanwhile, text messages sent by Gabby Petito to her mother in the days before her disappearance show rising tensions between her and Mr. Laundry, a police search warrant has revealed.
The 22-year-old was on a “vanlife” trip across the United States with Mr Laundry when she stopped communicating with her parents in late August.
He returned to his parents’ home in Florida without his girlfriend on September 1, and the Petito family reported his disappearance 10 days later.
Petito’s remains were found a week ago near a remote camp in Wyoming, and his death has been ruled a homicide. Officials are trying to ascertain the cause of his death and are yet to return his remains to his family.
Police in Florida are searching for Mr. Laundry at a 25,000-acre nature reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, after he disappeared from his family’s home. The police have declared him as of interest.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Gabby Petito