Gabby Petito memorial bench unveiled in North Port

Sarasota County

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – A bench surrounded by colorful steel butterflies now sits in North Port park with a plaque in the center that reads, “In Memory of Gabby Petito.”

The city installed the bench, in memory of the 22-year-old whose disappearance and death captured the country’s attention and sparked calls for the search for the young woman.

The bench is near where a makeshift memorial once stood for the 22-year-old. Supporters from across the country traveled to visit the memorial and brought teddy bears, flowers, posters and mementos, which piled up outside of North Port City Hall.

City officials say several local companies have donated materials and services to construct this tribute.

City officials took down the makeshift memorial last month after weather conditions had started to damage the items from the community.

Questions still remain after the Teton County coroner said Petito died of manual strangulation, and the death of her fiancé Brian Laundrie, whose cause of death is yet to be revealed as forensic experts continue their examination of his skeletal remains.

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