Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Mourners in Florida hold candlelight vigil, release butterflies in honor of Gabby Petito

A ceremony was held in North Port, Florida, on Saturday (September 25) to remember Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old travel blogger who was found dead last week.

Organizers said they released 100 butterflies in her honor, according to local media. People also wrote messages and left balloons and flowers at a makeshift memorial.

Americans have followed the case closely in the media since Petito was reported missing by her mother, Nicole Schmidt, on Sept. 11. Ten days earlier, her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, returned home to North Port without her from the road trip.

Petito’s body was discovered on Sunday (Sept. 19) near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Coroner’s investigators have ruled her death a homicide, but have not revealed the cause of death.

A search warrant was issued for Laundrie, 23, on Thursday (Sept. 23) after a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Wyoming indicted him on a single count of unlawfully using Petito’s bank debit card and personal identification number. He was not charged in her death.

A public memorial for Petito was scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 26) at a funeral home on New York’s Long Island.

(Production: Vanessa Johnston)


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