Gabby Petito Funeral: Brian Laundrie not mentioned as vlogger's family uses empty urn
'If there is a relationship that you're in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now,' Gabby Petito's father said
Gabby Petito, 22, the Florida travel vlogger who went missing earlier this month and was later found dead was laid to rest with a heartwarming and very crowded funeral at Long Island. Her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, who is currently a person of interest in the case and MIA with a warrant out for his arrest was not mentioned during the touching eulogies given by Petito's father and stepfather.
In his eulogy, Petito's father Joe Petito highlighted Gabby's love for adventure and travel. "She always wanted to go out and do stuff, whether it was scuba diving with my uncle, or myself or hiking the Appalachian trail, surfing sand dunes in Colorado," he noted. "To see that type of joy that brought her, and the stones it took to do that at such a young age," he continued, "I would like you to take a look at these videos and I want you to be inspired by them." He added, "I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby. If there's a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time." He also talked about the dangers of being in a toxic relationship. "If there is a relationship that you're in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now. Take care of yourself first," he warned.
Gabby's stepfather Jim Schmidt also offered some heartbreaking words. "Parents aren't supposed to bury their children," he noted while adding that none of the past funerals he planned "could have prepared me for this moment." Schmidt went on to say, "Gabby at 22 years old helped teach me that you could always make money but you can't make up for lost time. Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. Every day. She is an example to all of us to live life, to enjoy every moment of this beautiful word that she did."
Brian Laundrie not mentioned
At no point during the funeral was Laundrie mentioned. This might have been a conscious decision on the part of Petito's loved ones as an investigation into her death continues and a nationwide manhunt is being carried out to locate her boyfriend. Internet was wholly moved by the eulogies delivered at her funeral.
"After watching the live of #GabbyPetito’s funeral, I was moved by the words of her Father and Step-Father. Both of them are class-acts and excellent role models. Hug your kids at night, enjoy life to fullest, chase whatever goals you have. Rest In Peace, Gabby Petito," one of them said, while another noted, "Crying watching Gabby’s funeral. Her dad said something along lines of, 'Gabby had four parents, not stepparents…she had parents who genuinely loved her as if she were their own.' …what an amazing family this beautiful girl has." A third stated, "Incredibly touching service honoring #GabbyPetito Such beautiful memories and sentiments from her dad and stepdad. #justiceforgabby." A person reacted with, "I saw some of #GabbyPetito funeral, her dad and stepdad, they're remarkable. It was loving and positive and very inspiring."
After watching the live of #GabbyPetito’s funeral, I was moved by the words of her Father and Step-Father. Both of them are class-acts and excellent role models. Hug your kids at night, enjoy life to fullest, chase whatever goals you have. Rest In Peace, Gabby Petito.— Gio Varenstov (@varenstov) September 26, 2021
https://t.co/oUcr1DMGHB crying watching Gabby’s funeral.😭 Her dad said something along lines of, “Gabby had four parents, not stepparents…she had parents who genuinely loved her as if she were their own.”💜❤️💜❤️ …what an amazing family this beautiful girl has.🥺 #gabbypetito— Sara (@GirlNextDoor_22) September 26, 2021
I saw some of #GabbyPetito funeral, her dad and stepdad, they're remarkable. It was loving and positive and very inspiring.— IAmJustPetey (@PeteyR13) September 27, 2021
Empty urn buried by Petito's family
Just days before Petito's family and the community gathered at her funeral held at the Moloney Funeral Home, in Blue Point, New York, the vlogger's remains were found in Wyoming. The FBI has not released Petito's body to her family and it is unclear as to when that might happen. As a result, the family is using an empty urn during the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, the Petito family is requesting donations for the future Gabby Petito Foundation.
The foundation was set up to help families with resources and guidance to help bring missing children home. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.