People who were touched by Petito’s story, even though they don't know her, gathered in Holbrook, which is about 35 miles (56 km) east of New York City.
Desiree Keeffe, Nichole's friend, said that Petito was a beautiful person. She was always smiling and full of life. She gave you her love. She was a beautiful soul. She touched everyone like she does now."
One fire truck was positioned on each side of the funeral home. Each truck had its ladder extended and a line formed of firefighters who filed into the building. A chain link fence across the street was decorated with posters featuring Petito and messages like "She touched all the world."
After Petito didn't answer her phones for several days, Brian Laundrie and her visited West Parks, Petito was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11.
Last Sunday, her body was found in a remote area of northwestern Wyoming . Petito and Laundrie grew up together on Long Island, but moved to Florida in recent years.
Lexi Ruiz remembered working with Petito in a Patchogue cafe that Ruiz owned.
Ruiz stated that Ruiz was proud of Ruiz's statement, "She was always willing and able to help others." She was a shining light. Everywhere she went, the room was lit up. It was nice to see so many people support her family.
Petito's childhood photos and floral arrangements were displayed inside the funeral home. Some of them showed her travels. One arrangement from Norwalk, Connecticut read "I don’t know you, but your story broke my heart."
Mourners were welcomed with a placard that bore a poem entitled "Let It Be" and which began with the line "Do not mourn for me, for I am free."
Petito's death was categorized as homicide. This means that she was murdered by another person. However, Wyoming medical examiners have not yet revealed how Petito died in the absence of further autopsy results.
They posted photos online of their trip in a Ford Transit van that was converted into a campervan. The couple got into an altercation in Moab on Aug. 12, which led to a stop by police for a possible domestic violence charge. The police decided to end the fight and separate the couple. However, no charges were brought against the couple and there were no reports of serious injuries.
Investigators are searching for Laundrie in Florida and have searched his parents' North Port home, which is about 35 miles (56 km) south of Sarasota.
Federal officials in Wyoming arrested Laundrie Thursday for Unauthorized Use of a Debit Card. He was accused of using a Capital One Bank debit card and someone else's personal ID number to make unauthorized withdrawals, or charge more than $1,000, during the time Petito disappeared. They didn't say who the card was.