Story at a glance
- The Teton County coroner in Wyoming held a press conference Tuesday to announce Gabby Petito’s cause of death.
- Petito’s cause of death was determined to be strangulation and the manner of death a homicide.
- The authorities are still searching for her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who hasn’t been seen since Sept. 13.
Gabby Petito was strangled to death, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed in a press conference Tuesday afternoon while announcing the results of Petito’s autopsy.
“After a detailed investigation by our forensic pathologist, our anthropologist, and local law enforcement, with assistance from the FBI, the Teton County Coroner Office is filing the following verdict in the death of Gabrielle Venora Petito: we hereby find the cause and manner of death to be, the cause by strangulation and manner is homicide,” Blue said.
Though he would not comment on any potential suspects in the case, the coroner did confirm that authorities were able to collect outside DNA samples from Petito’s body. “I can tell you that DNA samples were taken by law enforcement,” Blue said.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Blue would not comment on whether the cause of death was manual or ligature strangulation.
Petito’s remains were found in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sept. 19, and the coroner previously determined her manner of death to be a homicide. Petito’s body was in the wilderness for three to four weeks, according to Blue.
The 22-year-old Petito set out on a cross-country road trip from New York, where her parents live, on July 2 with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. The couple had been documenting much of their travels on YouTube and social media under the moniker Nomadic Statik, and Petito stayed in touch with her family throughout.
However, she hadn’t been seen or heard from since Aug. 25 when she Facetimed her mother, Nicole Schmidt.
Authorities confirmed that Laundrie returned alone to the North Port home he had been sharing with Petito and his parents on Sept. 1 with Petito’s 2012 Ford Transit van. The van has since been impounded by authorities and processed for evidence, with the FBI assisting with the investigation.
Her family reported her missing on Sept. 11 after failing to hear from Petito. Schmidt claims she also attempted to contact Laundrie, as well as his mother, when she could not reach Petito, but she received no response.
Meanwhile, the North Port Police Department and the FBI continue to search for Laundrie, who was previously named a person of interest in the investigation
Laundrie’s parents reported on Sept. 17 that they had not seen their son since he went to hike in the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre wildlife refuge, on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Though they later said he actually left Sept. 13.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on Sept. 23 on charges of bank fraud for allegedly using a Capital One Bank debit card and personal identification numbers for two accounts without authorization for more than $1,000-worth of goods following Petito’s death.
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