As Gabby Petito's family grieves, their community hangs teal ribbons in solidarity
BLUE POINT, N.Y. - The human remains found over the weekend in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming were those of Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, the FBI confirmed on Tuesday. A coroner has ruled her death a homicide.
Petito, who grew up in Suffolk County, New York, but most recently lived in Florida, went missing during a cross-country trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who is a so-called person of interest in the case.
An attorney representing Petito's family, Richard Stafford, said in a statement that his clients will make a statement "when Gabby is home."
"I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve," Stafford said.
People have been placing teal ribbons throughout the community in Blue Point as a show of support for the family, according to the FDNY Firefighter John F. McNamara Foundation, where Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt, volunteers and serves as a member of the board.
"We put out as many as we had last night and have approximately 600 more on order," the Johnny Mac Foundation, as it is colloquially known, told FOX 5 NY in a Facebook message. Residents of Patchogue, Sayville, Rocky Point, Brentwood, and Holbrook are looking to put ribbons up as well. "We will see this in many communities as a beautiful show of support for the family and in memory of Gabby," the foundation said.
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In the meantime, police and federal agents continued their manhunt in Florida for Laundrie, who allegedly went hiking in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve just over 20 miles from his home in North Port. His family reported him missing last Friday.
Attorney Steven Bertolino, who represents the Laundrie family, told FOX 5 NY on Tuesday evening in a message: "May Gabby Rest In Peace."
Bertolino had planned to hold a news conference on Tuesday but canceled it late Monday night after speaking to the FBI, he said.
On Monday, the Laundrie family home was officially deemed a crime scene as the FBI spent much of the day gathering boxes of evidence, including Laundrie's external hard drive. North Port Police also had his Mustang towed.
A teal ribbon hangs on a pole in Suffolk County as a sign of support for the family of Gabby Petito. (FOX 5 NY Image)
Laundrie and Petito first set out on their cross country road trip from Blue Point, Long Island, back in July documenting their travels on social media.
The couple was stopped by police in Utah on Aug. 12, FOX 5 NY previously reported. And we're learning more about the state of their relationship. A worried bystander called 911 after he claimed Laundrie was seen hitting Petito before she vanished.
Court documents released Monday show Gabby's mother noticed "more and more tension" between her daughter and Laundrie. Her mom also questioned the last text message sent from her daughter's phone referencing Gabby's grandfather "Stan" — a name her mom says she never called him.
Hollywood Banners donated this banner paying tribute to Gabby Petito at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Nicolls Road in Bayport, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY Photo/Jodi Goldberg)
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