Gabby Petito's father hinted at her troubled relationship with fiancé Brian Laundrie while also calling for others to be inspired by his daughter during an emotional eulogy at a public funeral service for the 22-year-old on Sunday.
Joe Petito spoke to a crowd of mourners at Moloney's Holbrook Funeral Home in Long Island, New York, about the life of his daughter, who was on a cross-country trip with Laundrie and documenting it on social media when she disappeared last month. She was later found dead in a Wyoming campground area.
“I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby," Petito said. "If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now."
Petito's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, a former fire department chief, also remembered Gabby for her unique spirit.
"Gabby, at 22 years old, helped teach me that you can always make money but you can’t make up for lost time," he said during the ceremony. "Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by, to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world as she did. To love and give love to all like she did."
Lines of mourners paid their respects to Petito amid photos of her vibrant life as a traveler. The funeral home also shared a video tribute to her.
Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, gave thanks for the outpouring of love for her daughter in a Facebook post over the weekend.
"As I scroll through all the posts, my heart is full of love," she wrote. "I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you!!! Your support has been so overwhelming and we are so filled with gratitude.
"Please know what you are all doing for us does not go unnoticed, and with all of you by our side, we will get #justiceforgabby."
A nationwide manhunt for Laundrie, 23, has now reached its second week, and more than $30,000 in reward money is being offered for any information leading to his capture. Reality star and bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman has even announced he would help track down Laundrie.
Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 without Petito, and her family reported her missing 10 days later.
Petito's body was found on Sept. 20 at a Wyoming campground and her death has been ruled a homicide. Investigators have not released details on how she was killed.
Laundrie's parents have said he left their house in North Port two weeks ago without his wallet and cell phone to go hiking in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve. He never returned.
Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but is not a suspect. However, the FBI has issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest for alleged debit card fraud that authorities say happened after Petito's death.
Federal investigators returned to his family's home on Sunday to retrieve personal items that will assist with DNA matching.
Joe Petito announced Sunday that the family is setting up the Gabby Petito Foundation, which aims to help provide resources to families with missing children to bring them back home.
"No one should have to find their child on their own," he wrote on Instagram.