Gabby Petito’s LI community plans memorial

The death of Gabby Petito has thrust her hometown on Long Island into mourning — with the community placing blue ribbons around town and planning a special ceremony this week in her honor.

Petito, 22, who grew up in the quiet Suffolk County hamlet of Blue Point, was found dead in a remote Wyoming park Sunday after a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

“Long before she tragically became ‘America’s daughter,’ Gabby Petito was Blue Point’s girl,” the Greater Sayville community page said.

A billboard has gone up at Nicolls Road and Montauk Highway near the Petito family home.

“Gabby Petito, Forever in our hearts,” it reads.

Dozens of trees around the town have been adorned with teal blue ribbons in memory of Petito, who graduated from Bayport-Blue Point High School in 2017.

A memorial for Gabby Petito has been erected along Montauk Highway in her hometown of Blue Point, Long Island.
Matthew McDermott

Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, selected the color because “it reminded her of the color of Gabby’s eyes,” organizer Jennifer McNamara told The Post.

The ribbon tribute was arranged by the Johnny Mac Foundation, which was founded in honor of FDNY firefighter John McNamara, a first responder on Sept. 11, 2001, who died of cancer in 2009, the Greater Sayville post said.

“It’s what this community does,” said his widow, Jennifer McNamara. “Horrible events — we rally around each other. We take care of each other in this community.”

A memorial to Gabby Petito in North Port, Florida. Petito's body was discovered in Wyoming on September 19, 2021.
A memorial to Gabby Petito in North Port, Florida. Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming on September 19, 2021.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

McNamara said Schmidt also has close ties to the Johnny Mac Foundation.

The Bayport and Blue Point communities are also planning a “Shine a Light for Gabby” candle lighting ceremony on Friday, asking residents to place lighted candles at the end of their driveways around 7 p.m.

McNamara said they hope the memorial is an intimate event.

Gabby Petito's body was found in Spread Creek, Wyoming, on September 19, 2021 after being reported missing on September 11, 2021 by her family.
Gabby Petito’s body was found in Spread Creek, Wyoming, on Sept. 19, 2021 after being reported missing on Sept. 11, 2021, by her family.
Derek Shook / BACKGRID

“We don’t want thousands of people showing up,” she said. “It’s just a personal thing for the community. We are doing it in our homes. There is no mass gathering.”