Weeks after she was found, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue released the results of Gabby Petito’s autopsy. She died of strangulation, her body having been found three to four weeks after her death.
Dr. Blue had already confirmed last month that her death was a homicide, but the autopsy confirmed the suspicions of strangulation. He would not release any further information about the autopsy nor the toxicology report other than the negative pregnancy test.
“We hereby find the cause and manner of death to be, the cause, death by strangulation, and manner is homicide,” he proclaimed. “By Wyoming state statute, no other information will be released about the autopsy.”
The only suspect in her murder, her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, is still on the run from the police. The FBI issued a federal warrant for his arrest, allowing him to be detained upon sight.
The family’s attorney Steve Bertolino said in a statement, “Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy. While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise. At this time, Brian is still missing, and when he is located, we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
The couple grew up together and knew each other well. They were seen in an altercation less than a month before her disappearance.
On August 12, witnesses called the police on the couple in Moab, Utah. They claimed they saw Laundrie slapping and hitting Petito outside an organic grocer just off Main Street. Police told them to split up overnight and drove Laundrie to a hotel. No charges were filed.
The case has drawn massive attention, with Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter joining the search party for Laundrie.
When Chapman heard the news, he said, “The coroner’s statement has established a timeline that looks worse for Brian Laundrie. His continued evasion of law enforcement makes him look guilty. His best decision now would be to turn himself in. I can’t fathom how Brian’s parents can live with themselves after how they’ve stonewalled the Petito family. They need to be doing more to signal Brian to stop running.”