TETON COUNTY, Wyo. — Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said Tuesday that Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, the 22-year-old Florida woman found dead last month near a campsite in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, died of strangulation. Her manner of death was homicide, Blue said.
Petito’s family reported her missing after last speaking with her at the end of August, while she was on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie, 23, her fiance. Laundrie’s family reported him missing last month, days before Petito’s body was found. He has since been named a person of interest in her death.
Update 3 p.m. EDT Oct. 13: In an official filing obtained by KUTV, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said that Petito died by “manual strangulation/throttling.”
At an earlier news conference Tuesday, Blue declined to specify whether Petito died of manual strangulation or if she was strangled with an item.
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: After a Wyoming coroner said Tuesday afternoon that Petito died of strangulation, the attorney representing the Laundrie family emphasized that Brian Laundrie has not been charged in connection to Petito’s death.
In a statement obtained by WPBF, attorney Steven Bertilino said that Laundrie “is only considered a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s demise.”
Last month, authorities charged Laundrie with using Petito’s card without her authorization “on or about Aug. 30″ through Sept. 1. His family reported him missing Sept. 19, saying that they last saw him on Sept. 14.
“At this time he is still missing and when he is located we will address the fraud charge pending against him,” Bertilino said Tuesday.
Update 2:53 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Citing Wyoming law, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue declined to specify how investigators determined that Petito died of strangulation.
“I can’t comment on that because it would be a finding of the autopsy, and as I’ve stated before, the autopsy results are not public knowledge,” he said at a news conference.
It was not immediately clear whether Petito died of manual strangulation or if she was strangled with an item.
Update 2:49 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said Petito’s body was left outside in the wilderness for three to four weeks before she was found last month.
The autopsy on Petito’s body took several weeks because “we were very exacting in our examination and the detail by which that examination was done,” Blue said.
“We were waiting for various specialists to come in and help us with this investigation,” he said, adding that officials were awaiting the results of toxicology tests. “Nothing is obvious in a situation like this, so detailed analysis was used both to determine manner and cause of death. I can’t go into details on how we made those decisions.”
He said the results of toxicology tests were not public under Wyoming law.
Update 2:35 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said that authorities believe Petito died three to four weeks before her body was found Sept. 19.
He declined to answer questions about any other bruising that might have been found on Petito’s body, citing state laws.
Update 2:33 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said Tuesday that Petito died of strangulation and that her manner of death was homicide.
He said no further details from the autopsy would be released.
“By Wyoming state statute, only the cause and manner of death are released,” he said. “The autopsy findings and photographs and those sort of materials are not released by state statute.”
Original report: Teton County Coroner Brent Blue will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon on his ruling in the autopsy of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, the 22-year-old Florida woman whose body was found last month near a campsite in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The news conference is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. EDT, according to a media alert obtained by WFLA.
Last month, Blue said the cause of Petito’s death remained pending, though he determined that her manner of death was homicide.
Authorities found Petito’s body weeks after she her family last heard from her at the end of August, while she was on a cross-country road trip with her fiance, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie. The couple had embarked on their trip in a converted camper van in July. On Sept. 1, authorities said Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, without Petito.
Laundrie was named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance but refused to speak with detectives about his fiancee. Family members reported him missing on Sept. 17, telling investigators that they last saw him carrying a hiking bag on Sept. 14. The report prompted several searches of the nearly 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County. Several other sightings of Laundrie have been reported in different parts of the country, though none have been confirmed.
Officials found Petito’s body on Sept. 19. Days later, federal authorities issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on allegations of bank card fraud. Officials said he used Petito’s debit card without her authorization “on or about Aug. 30″ through Sept. 1.
Authorities continue to search for Laundrie.
©2021 Cox Media Group