Home Web timeline Coroner says cause of death for Gabby Petito was strangulation

Coroner says cause of death for Gabby Petito was strangulation


In particular, the cause of death was “manual strangulation / strangulation,” according to the coroner’s verdict, a legal document that Blue filed Oct. 5 with the clerk of the Teton County District Court. At a press conference, Blue said the cause of death was strangulation, but he did not go into details.

The autopsy included a whole-body CT scan, forensic and forensic anthropologist examination, and toxicology analysis, Blue said.

He declined to provide further details about Petito’s autopsy or a potential suspect, saying he was limited in the information he could legally disclose.

Petito family attorney Richard Stafford reiterated on Tuesday that the family were not commenting at this time.

“Gabby’s family don’t make any statements until they bring Gabby home,” Stafford said. “I’ll let you know when that happens.”

The coroner said Petito’s remains were in a Wyoming morgue.

How we got here

The announcement of the autopsy results came about a month after Petito, 22, was reported missing following a road trip with her 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

The couple had spent the summer traveling the western United States in a white van and documenting their adventures on social media. But Laundrie returned to the Florida home they shared with her parents on September 1 without Petito, and her family were unable to contact her.
She was first reported missing by her parents on September 11, and after a thorough search, her remains were found on September 19 near where their van was last seen three weeks earlier. National attention to his whereabouts revealed they were involved in a domestic feud in Utah in August.
In the midst of researching her whereabouts, Laundrie has disappeared and has not been seen for weeks. His parents told authorities they believed he had gone for a hike in a nature preserve near their home in North Port, Florida, and had not returned.
Blue had previously ruled his death a homicide in his preliminary findings, but the cause of death was pending further autopsy results, according to the FBI.

At Tuesday’s press conference, the coroner did not identify Laundrie as a suspect in the case, although he called Petito’s case “only one of many deaths in the country of people involved in domestic violence “.

Laundrie has not been charged in Petito’s death. He was charged with allegedly using two financial accounts that did not belong to him in the days following his death.

In a statement Tuesday, Laundrie’s family attorney Steve Bertolino said Laundrie used a debit card that belonged to Petito, but noted he was not a suspect in his death.

The tragic messages that the Gabby Petito affair sends

“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” Bertolino told CNN.

“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is not considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s death,” he added. “Brian is still missing at this time and when he is located we will deal with the pending fraud charge against him.”

Petito’s case has sparked grief, outrage and intrigue from much of the public, but it has also brought to light the tens of thousands of missing person stories that do not generate such intense interest. There were nearly 90,000 active missing persons cases at the end of 2020, according to the National Crime Information Center. Few missing persons cases are treated with as much urgency and national attention as that of Petito.

What we know about the last days of Petito

According to social media posts, Petito’s final days looked idyllic. But after she was reported missing, there were reports of a growing conflict between the couple.

Petito called his mother regularly, and these conversations seemed to reveal that there was “more and more tension” in Petito’s relationship, according to a police affidavit for a search warrant for an external hard drive found in the couple’s van.

On August 27, a “strange text” from Petito worried his mother that something was wrong, according to a search warrant.

Brian Laundrie was under surveillance before his disappearance, police say

“Can you help Stan, I keep getting his voicemail messages and missed calls,” the message read, according to the affidavit. Stan was referring to Petito’s grandfather, whom his mother said Petito never referred to in this way, according to the affidavit.

During their trip, the couple were arrested by police after a 911 caller told dispatchers on August 12 that he saw a man punching a woman, according to audio provided by the Sheriff’s Office of the Grand County in Moab, Utah.

“We walked past and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” said the caller. “Then we stopped. They ran on the sidewalk. He started hitting her, jumped in the car and they drove away. “

CNN obtained audio recordings of a dispatch from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office last month, which shed light on what Moab police said about “some kind of altercation.”

And on August 27, a witness described “commotion” as they left the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming.

Gabby Petito's dad says he wants Brian Laundrie found alive

Petito was in tears and Laundrie was visibly angry, entering and leaving the restaurant on several occasions, showing anger towards the staff around the hostess booth, witness Nina Angelo said.

The couple’s waitress was also visibly shaken by the incident, said Angelo, who told CNN she had not seen any violence or physical altercation between Petito and Laundrie.

A Merry Piglets official, who declined to give her name, saw “an incident” at the restaurant and called the FBI, she told CNN. The manager declined to describe what happened and said the restaurant did not have surveillance video of the incident.

Laundry research

People lay flowers at a Gabby Petito memorial site in Blue Point, New York on September 26.
Prior to her disappearance, North Port Police were monitoring the laundry as best they could legally, a police spokesperson told CNN’s Randi Kaye.

Investigators said Laundrie’s parents told them on September 17 that he had left home a few days earlier and was heading to the nearby Carlton Preserve – sparking a search for the 25,000 acres of the nature reserve. Initially his parents said he left on September 14, but last week Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said: “We now think the day Brian went for a hike in the reserve was Monday, September 13. ”

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When he left, he did not take his cell phone and wallet, and his parents were concerned he might get hurt, a source close to Laundrie’s family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

At the time, Laundrie was not wanted for a felony, but North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said Laundrie was under “enormous pressure” to provide answers. on the disappearance of Petito.

The FBI raided Laundrie’s home on September 20, removing a number of items and towing a convertible Ford Mustang.

Attention then turned to the Carlton Nature Reserve, where authorities scoured swamps filled with snakes and alligators, using drones, dive crews and bloodhounds.

After more than a week of searching for Laundrie, the FBI returned to see his parents, asking him for personal items to help with the DNA match. They provided what they could, Bertolino, the laundry lawyer, told several news outlets.

Laundrie’s father has been involved in a search of the nature reserve for him, but he does not intend to assist with the police search and the couple will not take a polygraph test, Bertolino said.

CNN’s Rob Frehse, Jennifer Henderson, Christina Maxouris, Kari Pricher, Leyla Santiago, Jenn Selva, Amir Vera, and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.


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