BLUE POINT, N.Y. (WPIX) — A Long Island community remained in mourning Friday as residents prepared to say their final goodbyes to Gabby Petito.
During a dark time of loss, lights shined bright from the driveways of homes and businesses around Blue Point, as neighbors memorialized one of their own.
“This is what we do,” said Laura Trent, of Blue Point.
Trent lit a lantern in solidarity with her community, the quiet Suffolk County hamlet where Petito was raised.
The 22-year-old was found dead Sunday in a remote Wyoming park after a cross-country trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
Although Trent never knew Petito, she prays for the Petito family.
“We’re all here to support them and love them and be there for them,” said Trent.
Noreen Gibbons traveled from Oregon to be with Petito’s loved ones.
Gibbons and Petito’s late grandmother were best friends, and she was like a second grandma to Petito.
Her home was supposed to be the couple’s final stop on their trip. Instead Gibbons is left heartbroken.
“She has captured everyone’s hearts,” said Gibbons.
This weekend, before Petito is laid to rest, trees around her community were marked with teal blue ribbons as bright as her eyes, and the streets she once walked now shine in her memory.
“I loved her. She was like the bright shiny star, now she is a star,” said Gibbons.
Petito will be laid to rest Sunday, about 4 miles away from Blue Point in Holbrook.
Police are still searching for Laundrie, with the case now ruled a homicide.