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BREAKING: Coroner Says Gabby Petito Was Strangled

Teton County, WY – Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced on Tuesday afternoon that 22-year-old Gabby Petito was strangled to death.

Blue confirmed during a press conference on Oct. 5 that Petito’s manner of death was homicide.

He would not elaborate on whether Petito was strangled manually or with an object.

Investigators believe Petito was killed three to four weeks before her body was found, according to Blue.

He said she was not pregnant at the time of her death.

Blue referred to Petito’s homicide as an incident of “domestic violence,” but refused to answer additional questions regarding the details of the autopsy or the criminal investigation.

Brian Laundrie, 23, had been named as a “person of interest” in the homicide of Petito, his 22-year-old fiancé.

The couple set off in Petito’s converted camper van in early July to tour U.S. national parks.

Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said she last spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25.

Brian Laundrie returned to his family’s North Port, Florida home in Petito’s van on Sept. 1, but she was not with him.

He refused to speak with police or Petito’s family about where he last saw her before he supposedly vanished while hiking in a Florida nature reserve on Sept. 14.

Brian Laundrie’s parents failed to report him as missing until Sept. 17, and later changed their story and said he actually vanished on Sept. 13.

They claimed they hadn’t spoken with him since then.

Petito’s body was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19.

Her death has been ruled a homicide, but her exact cause of death was not initially released.

The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest on Sept. 22 for use of unauthorized devices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver office announced in a press release.

But by then, Brian Laundrie had disappeared.

During an interview on the Dr. Phil McGraw television show on Oct. 5, Petito’s parents and step-parents said the warrant was the result of Brian Laundrie stealing Petito’s bank card and using it “to get home and then [run] from the police,” WAGA reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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