Coroner says Gabby Petito's cause of death was strangulation

Teton, Wyo., County Coroner Brent Blue announced on Tuesday that Gabby Petito's cause of death was strangulation.

The coroner also confirmed during a press conference that Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death. However, Blue did not elaborate further. 

The FBI confirmed on Sept. 21 that a body found in Wyoming was that of 22-year-old Petito. At the time of her body's discovery, her cause of death was ruled as a homicide.


"We're hereby find the cause and manner of death to be: The cause is death by strangulation and manner is homicide," Blue said on Tuesday.

Blue said the autopsy took about a month because the coroner's office wanted to ensure "we had everything right."

The FBI has issued a warrant for Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie's arrest in connection with her death. Laundrie has been missing for about a month and was last seen by his parents in Florida.

When asked how he determined that the cause of death was strangulation, Blue said on Tuesday that he could not disclose that information due to Wyoming laws that keep autopsy results from being public knowledge.

According to Blue, Petito was dead for about three to four weeks before her body was discovered. The autopsy was performed completely in Teton County.

Though they said they wished to bring her remains home as quickly as possible, Petito's family said in a press conference in September that they had decided to let her remains stay in Wyoming for as long was needed to best aid the FBI's investigation and the coroner's office.

"We want to make sure that no matter what, we do not impede their investigation in any way. We wanted her home immediately, but we understand their position and we know that she's safe with them and as long as she's with them," Petito's stepfather Jim Schmidt said. "It was a very tough decision to have to make — to come home, but we felt it was important to come home so we could mourn her and celebrate her life and be with her family and friends. And when they're ready to release her we will be bringing her home."

Updated at 3:25 p.m.