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Instagram memorial grows for Gabby Petito as she reaches 1M followers after death

Mourners flocked to the site of Gabby Petito’s final Instagram post this week, as the slain Long Island native’s social media influence continued to soar in death.

Petito, who documented her doomed cross country “vanlife” trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie in the hopes of becoming an online influencer, had amassed more than one million followers on her IG platform as of Wednesday.

Her newfound followers double tapped @gabspetito’s scenic shots hundreds of thousands of times, and left a flood of heartbreaking comments and emotional pleas for the capture of Laundrie, who remained in the wind.

Petito’s last post on the app spurred a real life memorial in Ogden, Utah, in addition to serving as a sounding board for well-wishers and internet sleuths.

On August 25, the 22-year-old posted shots of her standing in front of a butterfly mural holding a petite pumpkin at The Monarch, an event venue. The caption simply read “Happy Halloween.”

It was one of the last places she was ever seen before her remains were found in a Wyoming national park Sunday.

People taking photos at the Monarch Mural in Ogden, Utah that Petito once posed at before disappearing.
Richards / BACKGRID

The Monarch Mural memorial has since been visited by strangers who left flowers, lit candles and wrote messages.

“I recognize that this might seem a little strange,” creator Jake McMahon wrote on Facebook Monday.

“Gabby Petito wasn’t from Ogden, Utah.. or even the west coast. However, she was a human being who saw the beauty of Utah/Ogden from all the way in Florida. If she can show Utah some love, we can show her some love and come together with one another in her memory.”

McMahon said he would continue the memorial for several days and send all non-perishable items to Petito’s grieving family. He also said he hoped to raise awareness of other missing persons cases.

Law enforcement vehicles searching for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida on September 21, 2021.
Law enforcement vehicles searching for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida on September 21, 2021.
Andrea Melendez/Naples Daily News via AP

Thousands of miles away, investigators continued combing through South Florida looking for signs of Laundrie, 23.

The “person of interest” went missing last Tuesday after driving her van to his parents house by himself on Sept 1.

A medical examiner has determined that Petito was killed.



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