Gabby Petito died of strangulation, Wyoming coroner says – .

Gabby Petito died of strangulation, Wyoming coroner says – .

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Long-distance traveler Gabby Petito has been strangled, a Wyoming coroner said Tuesday.

Petito, 22, died three to four weeks before her body was found on September 19 near an undeveloped camping area along the border of Grand Teton National Park in northern Wyoming, said Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue at a press conference.

It was not clear whether the determination could lead to further charges against Petito’s boyfriend and travel partner Brian Laundrie, who is considered a person of interest in his disappearance and who remains missing.

Blue declined to say more about the autopsy or the case as a whole, saying he was barred from doing so by Wyoming law which limits what coroners can disclose.

Petito had taken a cross-country trip with Laundrie, visiting Colorado, Utah and other states. She was reported missing on September 11 by her parents after she did not answer calls and texts for several days as the couple visited Western National Parks.

Blue previously classified Petito’s death as a homicide – meaning his death was caused by someone else – but had not disclosed how she was killed while awaiting the autopsy results.

A “detailed analysis” led to his conclusion that Petito was strangled, Blue said.

“Nothing is obvious in a case like this,” he said.

Blue did not say more about Petito’s physical condition – including whether she may have been directly strangled by someone’s hands, rope or other object – but noted when asked that she was not pregnant.

The three to four weeks that his body was supposed to be in the wild, however, put his death around August 27-30. Investigators believe Petito and Laundrie visited the area.

Petito’s case has led to new calls for people to pay more attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of color, with some commentators calling the intense coverage of his disappearance “white woman syndrome.” disappeared ”.

The search for Laundrie sparked a frenzy, with TV personalities like Duane Chapman – known as Dog the Bounty Hunter – and longtime “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh scrambling to find him.

Petito and Laundrie posted their trip online in a white Ford Transit van converted to a motorhome. They had a physical altercation on August 12 in Moab, Utah, which led to a police arraignment, which ended with the police decision to separate the couple who were arguing for the night. No charges were laid and no serious injuries were reported.

Investigators searched for Laundrie in Florida and also searched her parents’ home in North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota.

Wyoming federal officials last month accused Laundrie of unauthorized use of a debit card, alleging he used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make withdrawals or unauthorized charges valued at more than $ 1,000 during the period in which Petito disappeared. They did not say who owned the card.

Asked about the coroner’s determination, Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino noted in a statement that his client was only facing the fraud charge in the case.

“Brian is still missing at this time and when he is located we will deal with the fraud charge against him,” Bertolino said.

In Florida, FBI-led search teams searched a large nature reserve for signs of laundry. Weeks of research in the Carlton Swamp Preserve south of Sarasota – where Laundrie’s parents say he went after he returned from the West – has yielded nothing.


This story has been updated to correct that Petito’s first name is Gabby, not Gaby.


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