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North Port community holding a prayer vigil for Gabby Petito

Posted at 11:31 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 23:31:53-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The North Port community sending a message to the Petito family -- that this community is there for them.

A Light of Hope vigil in North Port was all about keeping the hope alive for Gabby Petito's return.

Gabby Petito was reported missing on September 11th by her family in Suffolk County.

She lived in the North Port area since 2019.

Folks in the community praying that she will make a safe return.

“We are hoping. We are putting the light out there. She is not going to go dark. We want her home and we are going to keep that light shining in hopes that she does get home," Lisa Carroll, Light of Hope organizer, said.

For some in the community, the disappearance of Petito felt personal.

“I couldn’t imagine not knowing where my child was or how they passed, so for me, it’s very important that they get some resolution to this," Breanne Gleason said.

Elena Carella is a parent of four. She said she can't fathom what the Petito family is going through.

"It’s really hard for me to hear a parent grieving for their child and can’t find their child. That is really hard to hear that and for that to be right in our city, it makes it way more real," Carella said.

Carroll said events like this will apply pressure to bring Gabby home.

“We still want answers. We’d like to know where she is at and what other people know and get other people to come forward with any information they may have," she said.

Gleason said this was a chance for the community to lean on one another. She felt the prayer vigil represented togetherness, unity and hope.

The hope that Gabby will be home soon.