Wyoming coroner says Gabby Petito’s death was caused by strangulation

Reuters

Posted at Oct 13 2021 03:34 AM

Petito (right), reported missing on September 11 after traveling with her boyfriend around the country in a van and never returned home, poses for a photo with Brian Laundrie in this undated handout photo. North Port/Florida Police handout via Reuters/file
Petito (right), reported missing on September 11 after traveling with her boyfriend around the country in a van and never returned home, poses for a photo with Brian Laundrie in this undated handout photo. North Port/Florida Police handout via Reuters/file

Gabby Petito, the young woman who vanished on a road trip with her boyfriend and later turned up dead in Wyoming, was killed by strangulation, a local coroner said on Tuesday.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue, whose office had already ruled Petito's death a homicide, said she was killed about three to four weeks before her body was found on September 19. 

Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, 23, has been missing for nearly a month.

Petito, 22, was last seen alive on August 26. Her body was discovered on September 19 near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.

On October 1, CNN reported that Petito had told police about a domestic dispute with Laundrie.

The network cited additional bodycam footage from a responding officer from August which it said provides further insight into the couple's troubles.

Petito's boyfriend, whom police had sought in connection with her death during their cross-country road trip, was charged the previous week with fraudulently using her bank debit card. Petito and Laundrie embarked on their trip in June in her van, posting videos along the way on social media.

A search warrant was issued for Laundrie after a grand jury in Wyoming indicted him on a single count of unlawfully using the card and Petito's personal identification number. He was not charged in her death.

The latest footage from August, obtained by CNN, provided a glimpse into the troubles between Petito and Laundrie. The video is more than 52 minutes long and includes Petito telling officers that while Laundrie had hit her, she hit him first, CNN reported.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago, Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Giles Elgood)

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Watch more on iWantTFC