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A memorial site has been set up for Gabby Petito outside The Monarch, a restaurant and art collaboration space in Ogden, Utah, where she posted her latest Instagram photo.

Gabby’s photo, which was shared widely on social media, showed Ms Petito smiling broadly in the sun as she stood in front of the distinctive mural of an orange monarch butterfly on a black and white background.

Ms. Petito, a 22-year-old van life blogger, disappeared on a road trip with her fiance. His remains were later discovered on the edge of Grand Teton National Park and his death declared a coroner homicide.

Brian Laundrie, her fiancé and a “person of interest” in the case, has since also disappeared, leaving many questions unanswered as an important hunt for him continues.

The Utah artwork became an impromptu memorial in Gabby Petito’s honor when Ogden residents Jack McMahon, Seth Schilling and Jenna Burdess decided to honor her memory with a gathering there- low Monday night.

Explaining the motivation behind the tribute, Jake McMahon wrote in a Facebook post that although Ms. Petito is not from Utah, she was a “human being who has seen the beauty of Utah / Ogden all along. way to Florida. If she can show a little love in Utah, we can show her some love and come together in her memory. “

Mr. McMahon continues to run the site and has said The independent that there is always a constant flow of people visiting daily to pay homage and pay homage.

“To make sure nothing gets stolen or damaged, I bring gifts and cards home every evening around 8:00 pm and bring them back each morning around 8:00 am. Morning, afternoon and evening people have been there every time I have been there.

He says he has seen over 100 people at the mural, and so far everyone who has visited has been very positive and respectful.

“We have books in which anyone can write a message to Gabby or her loved ones (we’ll send them to her family afterwards), and the messages they write have been so heartwarming,” he said.

Flowers, candles and notes left at Monarch Memorial Site in Utah

(Jake McMahon)

Mr McMahon added that some people have made contact with other missing persons, and he agrees that more attention should be paid to these cases as well. “I think it motivates people to do more on other cases, which is the big picture,” he said.

He posted details of several other unresolved missing persons reports on his Facebook page, including Daniel Robinson, Rosemary Medina, Randilee Myo, Kylen Shulte and Crystal Turner.

“I agree other / similar cases should be more exposed as well, which is why I was so humbled to see the number of ‘missing person’ posts shared on my social media pages almost quadruple overnight. .

“Yes, we’re focusing on Gabby right now, but it’s made everyone understand that this is not a rare case, and similar things happen quite often whether we realize it or not.

“It is obvious to many that Gabby was a beautiful soul who lit a room, and she absolutely did not deserve this spell,” Mr McMahon said, adding that he believed Gabby’s case struck a chord with the people who understood the pressure. present relationships in an idealized way on the Internet.

“I think this case is more heartbreaking for people because of the stigma of wanting to look ‘perfect’ on social media, especially in a relationship. I think it’s in nature to portray something of a some way online, but when the context of the tragedy somehow contradicts the image that was painted online, it draws attention to the situation. I just feel like Gabby was a beautiful soul searching for always her way in this world, even without knowing her personally.

Mr McMahon said he thought it was appropriate that Ms Petito posed in front of a monarch butterfly in her last photo, because “she was kind of a migratory butterfly herself!” I thought the metaphor was beautiful, ”he said.


The Independent Gt