‘It’s senseless’: North Port community heartbroken after remains found in Wyoming search for Gabby Petito

Sarasota County

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – A growing memorial for Gabby Petito has been set up outside city hall in North Port.

Community members have been gathering to honor the 22-year-old since Sunday’s announcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI said a body discovered near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming during the search for Petito matches the description of the missing 22-year-old North Port woman.

“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery,” Senior Agent Charles Jones explained. “The cause of death has not been determined at this time.”

According to Jones, it’s a devastating end to the search for the 22-year-old who disappeared weeks ago while on a trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

“I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,” Jones said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Minutes after Sunday’s announcement, Gabby’s father Joseph Petito posted a picture of his daughter on Twitter with a broken heart emoji and the caption “#GabbyPetito she touched the world.”

North Port community members are saddened by the news. Judy, a woman who says she worked with Gabby at Publix, called the situation senseless.

“We’d have lunch together when we could. You know, she was a good girl — there was no reason for this to happen. She was a sweetheart and a beautiful girl,” she said

Another member of the North Port community said, “It’s scary because you never want it to happen to anybody that you know. I don’t even know them. These neighbors, we don’t know them, but they’re neighbors, so it hits home. It’s way too close to home.”

The FBI asks the public to continue submitting tips as they continue the investigation. New information can be submitted at Tips.FBI.gov

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