A Wyoming coroner has determined that a 22-year-old American blogger who went missing while on a road trip with her fiancé was strangled to death.
When Gabby Petito’s body was discovered last month near a national park the couple had visited, she had been dead for several weeks, according to coroner Brent Blue.
Brian Laundrie, Ms Petito’s fiancé, is a person of interest in the investigation, although he has been missing since September.
The body of the Long Island woman was discovered on Sept. 19 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, and Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue had previously deemed her death a homicide.
The official cause of death for the 22-year-old wasn’t revealed until Tuesday, despite Blue citing state law in limiting the amount of information he could give.
Blue characterized Petito’s death as homicide and the cause as “death by manual strangulation/throttling” in a memo dated Oct. 5 and filed on Tuesday.
“Our initial conclusion is the body was in the bush for three to four weeks” before she was discovered, according to Blue, putting her death somewhere between mid and late August.
“This is just one of many deaths of persons involved in domestic abuse around the country, and it’s terrible that these other tragedies don’t get as much attention as this one,” she said “”Blue” stated.
Brian Laundrie is not a suspect in Petito’s abduction or death, according to Steven Bertolino, an attorney for Laundrie’s family.
“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” says one commentator “On Tuesday afternoon, Bertolino issued a statement.
“Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the improper use of Gabby Petito’s debit card, but he is simply a person of interest in regard to Gabby Petito’s death. Brian is still missing at this moment, and whenever he is found, we will deal with the pending fraud case against him.”
Petito and Laundrie had been on a cross-country road trip, documenting their adventures on social media, before he returned to his parents’ house in North Port, Florida, on September 1 without his fiancée, according to authorities.
On September 11, the woman’s relatives reported her missing, and Laundrie disappeared as well.
Laundrie’s relatives informed detectives that he went hiking in the Carlton Reserve in Florida on September 14 and never returned. Multiple times, law officers combed the 25,000-acre wildlife sanctuary for him.
Since then, there have been several reports of Laundrie sightings all across the East Coast.
Laundrie has been identified as a “person of interest” in the inquiry into Petito’s disappearance, but he is wanted for allegedly using her debit card without her consent, according to investigators.