Candlelight vigil held for Gabby Petito at Sugarhouse Park

Sep 23, 2021, 5:00 AM
gabby vigil...
Bryson Davis with K2 The Church offers a prayer at a candlelight vigil to remember Gabby Petito at Sugarhouse Park. Photo credit: Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY — A candlelight vigil for Gabby Petito was held with dozens in attendance at Sugarhouse Park Wednesday night. 

Remembering Gabby

The disappearance and murder of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito caught the attention of people across the country, including here in Utah. 

“I just felt touched and I felt like I needed to do something and get the community together to memorialize her,” said Serena Chavez, 26. 

Chavez organized the vigil by creating a Facebook event and the response was immediate. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive responses,” Chavez said.

However, she has also received responses asking about other missing women

People at the vigil lit candles and stood in solemn silence as a beautiful sunset ended the day.

Table set out with photos of Gabby Petito at a candlelight vigil in her honor at Sugarhouse Park (Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio)

Gabby and countless others

For Chavez, who is Hispanic and Native American, this vigil was about raising awareness for all missing women. 

I am not trying to shine light just because she has blonde hair and blue eyes. I am trying to shine light for all the women out there who are missing or have been gone for months, or even years,” Chavez explained. 

Serena also wants to bring awareness to the difficult topic of domestic abuse. 

“I am here for you and other women are here for you,” Chavez said. “Don’t be afraid to reach out and run away. Some people just aren’t who they say they are.” 

Members of the Bikers Against Domestic Violence group also attended to show their support. 

 The vigil was held on the east side of the pond in Sugarhouse Park at 7 p.m.

If you or somebody you know are experiencing trouble linked to domestic violence, the following resources are available to you.

Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine
1-800-897-LINK (5465)

If LINKLine advocates are experiencing an increased call volume, calls will be forwarded to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

StrongHearts Native Helpline

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Candlelight vigil held for Gabby Petito at Sugarhouse Park