The bizarre and tragic case of Gabby Petito, who went missing and was later found deceased, took another turn this week, with Fox News reporting that the medical examiner in charge of the case revealed that the young woman was strangled to death.
“We hereby find the cause and manner of death to be, the cause, death by strangulation, and manner is homicide,” Dr. Brent Blue said at a press conference Tuesday.
Blue, who serves as coroner in Wyoming’s Teton County, went on to add that “no other information will be released about the autopsy,” as per Wyoming state law.
Petito was last seen alive on Aug. 27, and Blue explained that her body had been in the wilderness for three weeks before being discovered in Bridger-Teton National Forest.
When asked why the findings were only now being released to the public, Blue said it was because his office was “very exacting our examination and the detail by which that examination was done.”
“We were waiting for various specialists to come in and help us with this investigation,” the coroner continued. “We were waiting on toxicology to be returned, and it was just a matter of making sure we had everything right.”
“Person of interest”
Petito was traveling with fiancé Brian Laundrie at the time of her disappearance, who later returned to his home in Florida without her.
Laundrie quickly became a “person of interest” in Petito’s death and subsequently went missing himself last month.
Fox News reported last month that a federal arrest warrant had been issued for Laundrie for charges relating to credit card fraud, with authorities claiming that he used credit cards that belonged to Petito.
The network quoted Laundrie’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, as saying in a statement on Tuesday, “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,” the attorney added.
Bertolino went on to stress that his client “is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”