American News Sep 26, 2021 8:47 PM EST

Gabby Petito's funeral draws hundreds of mourners

"She gave you love. She was just a beautiful soul. She touched everybody like she did now," commented a family friend of the Petitos.

Gabby Petito's funeral draws hundreds of mourners
James Anthony Montreal QC
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On Sunday, the family of Gabby Petito invited the public to come to an open funeral for their daughter, whose remains were recently found by authorities.

The ceremony was slated for 12 to 5 pm at Holbrook New York's Moloney Funeral Home, announced by Petito's grieving father. Hundreds of mourners on Long Island stood in a line that wrapped around the block to attend a public memorial service for Petito, according to Fox 8.

According to NBC News, "mourners who gathered on Long Island for the services included family, friends and Petito's former coworkers as well as those who have been monitoring the young woman's case through recent headlines."

On Tuesday, the FBI confirmed that remains found inside Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming belong to 22-year-old Petito, who had been missing since the end of August. FBI Denver said that the coroner has ruled the manner of death a homicide. A cause of death will be issued pending final autopsy results.

Petito had been last heard from on Aug. 24, when she talked with her parents. Her fiance, Brian Laundrie, returned home to his parents in North Port Florida on Sept. 1, inexplicably, alone. He has since disappeared and authorities are conducting an extensive search for him. A federal arrest warrant has been issued.

Friends and family during the Sunday ceremony offered emotional statements:

"She was always willing to help someone else. She was just such a light ... It's nice to see so many people come together and support her family," said Lexi Ruiz, a former co-worker of Petito's.

"She gave you love. She was just a beautiful soul. She touched everybody like she did now," commented Desiree Keeffe, a family friend of the Petitos.

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