"She was the glue that held her family together," a friend said of Jennifer Petri.
The Coconino National Forest in Arizona witnessed the tragic death of a much-adored mother of four after she fell off a cliff. Just before 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 27, a woman called the authorities to report that her friend, 44-year-old Jennifer Petri, "had fallen 20 feet off a cliff and was no longer visible," according to a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office on Facebook.
The sheriff's office reported that the "terrain was steep and dangerous," making it challenging for authorities to perform a search. In the end, detectives used binoculars to find Petri, who was discovered dead "just above the water edge" at the foot of the cliff, per PEOPLE.
Family members recalled Petri, who resided in Camp Verde, as an "amazing" mother. The community recalled that for 15 years, she worked as a waitress at a nearby Denny's. "I want her to be remembered for her compassion," Danae Wolf told NBC affiliate KPNX. "She was the glue that held her family together."
Wolf told the publication that Petri, who "had the most contagious smile," passed away just two days before one of her boys turned 15. “She was everyone’s friend,” said Wolf. “She had so much compassion for people and empathy. And it’s really something I looked up to.”
Wolf really adored Petri, sharing that she thought of her as a second mother. “She was going to go for a walk, and I gave her a hug goodbye,” Wolf said of the last time she saw her. “I wish I would have hugged her a little tighter.”
Her boys, Jeremy, Jered, Tyson, and Ryder, are going through "an unbelievable loss," a GoFundMe set up by Wolf shared. The campaign describes Petri as "one of the sweetest and most down-to-earth souls to have walked this earth."
The family has "been left to deal with not only financial hardship of the events but the tragic loss of an amazing partner and mother," the campaign further read. The fundraiser aims to raise funds that will "go towards bills, services, etc."
Wolf appealed to people via the fundraiser to help the family in these difficult times. "It is an unbelievable loss, anything helps at this time, funds will go towards bills, services, etc. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers," she wrote.
The investigation is still ongoing, per YCSO. "Details of how the victim fell to her death are being investigated by YCSO detectives," police said.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe