Memorial for Gabby Petito grows in North Port after remains discovered in Wyoming
NORTH PORT, Fla. - A memorial for Gabby Petito is growing near North Port City Hall. Stuffed bears, flowers, and ribbons cover a giant tree, offering comfort to those who knew Gabby and anyone touched by her story.
"It is symbolic," said Dan Barry. "[It is] something to get all our hearts warmed up and feel our grief. And the grief is not going to go away."
Despite heavy rain at times Monday, community members brought their families to lay flowers at the memorial site.
Some said prayers or crossed themselves.
A few who did not feel like speaking instead wept.
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It is all colored by the fact that much mystery remains surrounding Gabby's presumed death and the disappearance of the only known person of interest in the case, Brian Laundrie.
"I am really hoping that they find him alive and that we get some answers," said Meghan Mayer of North Port. "Her family deserves it and she deserves it."
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Many are further intrigued by the fact that the story portrayed on social media, of a happy couple traveling the country and enjoying the sights of America's national parks, appears now to be an illusion.
"Everyone shows their dream life on social media," said Mayer. "And then it is not reality. We are getting this glimpse of what their relationship really was like."