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Funeral for slain Hollis traveler

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A wake and funeral arrangements have been set for Desiree Gibbon, a woman who was raised in Hollis and was slain on a trip to the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

The wake was scheduled this Friday at Dalton’s Funeral Home on 125 Hillside Ave. in New Hyde Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. The funeral will be the following day at Incarnation Church and Catholic School at 89-43 Francis Lewis Blvd. in Queens Village, where she attended kindergarten through eighth grade, according to her mother, Andrea Cali-Gibbon. The funeral starts at 9:30 a.m..

The wake, funeral arrangements and return of the 26-year-old’s body was paid for from contributions made to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe by family, friends, former classmates and strangers who simply wanted to help the grieving family of the aspiring actress, model, and filmmaker.

Her aunt, Peggy Brunner, set up the GoFundMe account and within days donors gave $30,000 to help the family, according to the site. An additional $10,000 goal was later added to help catch the killer. So far $8,606 has been raised.

“Desi’s mom and dad are on [their] way to Jamaica right now. Please pray they get answers and the police get the monster who murdered my beautiful niece who is loved and missed by so many!!! Desi, we won’t stop until we have JUSTICE!” Brunner said on the website.

Gibbon, was found beaten and with her throat slashed on a road in the bushes of the rural town of Anchovy in the St. James parish section of the island Nov. 26, according to investigators on the island.

She arrived on the island Oct. 20 and was given a three-month stay while living at her grandmother’s bed and breakfast inn in the resort town of Montego Bay. She was expected to fly back home to Queens Nov. 30, according to authorities on the island.

Family members said a friend offered her a job at a record label, which was bringing her back to New York.

The model was one of 12 people murdered over that weekend in St. James, according to Jamaican news site Western Mirror.

The Anchovy Police reported that a passer-by stumbled across the blood-soaked body of Gibbon around 9:15 a.m. on Long Hill road.

Gibbon’s uncle was the one to identify the young woman from a photo the police had, according to investigators on the island.

She attended Cardozo High School in Bayside and St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, according to social media posts made by former classmates.

Friends of Gibbon said she was a fun-loving person with a great personality. She was a graduate of West Virginia University, where she obtained a degree in broadcast journalism and was working on the island to make a documentary and pay for film school in Europe.

To celebrate her life and her bubbly personality, guests were asked to wear bright colors to the funeral and to share a musical playlist to her younger sisters for the funeral service, according to her friend Bianca Pappas on a Facebook post.

The post also revealed that a memorial would be held at Gibbon’s grandmother’s church on Dec. 30th, but a time and location has not been mentioned as of yet.

Cali-Gibbon later thanked the donors for their contributions with helping to bring her daughter back to New York and the funeral.

“Thank you all beyond any words that can ever convey how appreciative I am for all the love and support you have shown me at this difficult time on our life.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, December 22, 2017
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