Gabby Petito was remembered at a memorial service Sunday in Long Island, during which her father appeared to mention her relationship with her missing boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.
The Blue Point native was eulogized during the service at Moloney’s Funeral Home located in Holbrook, a week after her remains were found in Wyoming, the New York Post reported.
“The entire planet knows this woman’s name,” her dad, Joe Petito, told attendees. “And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first. Put yourself first. And do it now while you have time.”
“I couldn’t be more proud,” he noted, adding, “If there’s a relationship that might not be the best for you, leave it now.”
Video footage showed mourners at the service lining up to view photos of the young woman placed amid candles and flower arrangements:
WABC reporter Kristin Thorne shared a clip of people arriving for the funeral:
A large procession of people arrive for Gabby Petito’s funeral. pic.twitter.com/qbkLRhohxb
— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) September 26, 2021
Over 100 firefighters attended the service for Petito, whose stepfather also works as a firefighter, according to the Post.
During the event, Joe Petito and Gabby’s stepfather, James Schmidt, embraced each other.
“I spent a good portion of my life working and trying to earn money to provide for our family and our kids, to give them the best life,” Schmidt explained.
“And Gabby, at 22 years old, helped teach me that you can always make money, but you can’t make up for lost time,” he added. “Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day, every day.”
The body discovered recently near a Wyoming national park belonged to Petito, who disappeared amid a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, the Teton County coroner confirmed Tuesday.
“Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said the initial determination of Petito’s body is that her death was a homicide. Final autopsy results have not yet been released,” Breitbart News reported.
The young woman’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, was previously named a person of interest in the investigation.
“Petito had been living with Laundrie and his parents in North Port, Florida, when they embarked on the trip. However, authorities said she was not with Laundrie when he returned to Florida on September 1,” the outlet said.
Laundrie has been missing since he reportedly went hiking in the Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve near his home in North Port.
Meanwhile, the killing of Petito and the disappearance of Laundrie caused a Florida attorney to put a $20,000 bounty on his location.