Gabby Petito’s funeral is scheduled for Sunday in Long Island as authorities continue searching for Brian Laundrie in Florida. Meanwhile, Petito’s parents have announced the creation of a foundation to assist families whose children are missing.Here is what we know about the latest developments in the case:
Petito’s funeral is planned for Sunday at Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern.
The gathering will be open to the public, which has prompted special precautions, including private security and a police presence, according to WFLA-TV.
Petito was reported missing September 11 after she and Laundrie, her fiancé, embarked on a months-long road trip over the summer but Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in Florida without her. Petito had not been seen or heard from since late August.
This past Sunday, authorities found Petito’s body in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her death was ruled a homicide, but autopsy results are still pending to confirm how she was killed.
Police believe Laundrie is a “person of interest” in Petito’s death and federal authorities have issued an arrest warrant alleging that he used a debit card without authorization, a charge that experts say is a strategy to hold Laundrie to help build the homicide case.
However, Laundrie has been missing for more than a week.
Authorities are continuing to scour the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where Laundrie’s parents say he went hiking before disappearing on September 14.
Search crews have grown fatigued but are not stopping, WFLA-TV reports. Instead, police have scaled down the operation compared to when it initially began into a more focused manhunt.
A local resident who lives near the preserve explained why the search is so challenging.”Every week I see rattlesnakes crossing my driveway,” reserve neighbor Kevin Mariller told WFLA-TV. “The alligators and mosquitos are the worst. I don’t know how many nights you can go without mosquito spray but it’s not easy,”
A total of $30,000 is being offered for information that leads to Laundrie’s arrest, according to the New York Post. A neighbor of the Petito family is offering $5,000, a former deputy police chief in Florida has offered another $5,000 and a Florida law firm put up $20,000.
In a separate development, Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, announced on Saturday that his family is establishing a foundation intended to support parents with missing children, Insider reports.“The Gabby Petito Foundation. No one should have to find their child on their own,” Joseph Petito wrote in Twitter and Instagram posts. “We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby.”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through the foundation’s website at gabbypetitofoundation.org.
Condolences can be made on the Moloney Funeral Home Facebook page.
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