GABBY PETITO INVESTIGATION

Coroner says Gabby Petito strangled, was killed weeks before her body was found

Oct 12, 2021, 1:15 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2021, 10:55 am
FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Peti...
FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue is scheduled to announce the findings of Petito's autopsy at a news conference early Tuesday, Oct. 12. (Moab Police Department via AP)
(Moab Police Department via AP)

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Cross-country traveler Gabby Petito was strangled to death, a Wyoming coroner announced Tuesday.

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

It wasn’t clear if the determination might lead to additional charges against Petito’s boyfriend and traveling partner, Brian Laundrie, who is considered a person of interest in her disappearance and remains unaccounted for.

Blue declined to say more about the autopsy or the case overall, saying he was prevented by Wyoming law that limits what coroners can release.

Petito had been on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend. She was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days while the couple visited parks in the West.

Blue previously classified Petito’s death as a homicide — meaning her death was caused by another person — but had not disclosed how she was killed pending further autopsy results.

Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of color, with some commentators describing the intense coverage of her disappearance as “missing white woman syndrome.”

The search for Laundrie has generated a frenzy, with TV personalities like Duane Chapman — known as Dog the Bounty Hunter — and longtime “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh working to track him down.

Petito and Laundrie posted online about their trip in a white Ford Transit van converted into a camper. They got into a physical altercation Aug. 12 in Moab, Utah, that led to a police stop, which ended with police deciding to separate the quarreling couple for the night. No charges were filed, and no serious injuries were reported.

Investigators have searched for Laundrie in Florida and also searched his parents’ home in North Port, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Sarasota.

Federal officials in Wyoming last month charged Laundrie with unauthorized use of a debit card, alleging he used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing. They did not say to whom the card belonged.

In Florida, FBI-led search teams have been looking in a vast nature preserve for any sign of Laundrie. Weeks of searching in the swampy Carlton Reserve south of Sarasota — where Laundrie’s parents say he went after returning home from the West — have turned up nothing.

Laundrie family lawyer Steve Bertolino said in an email there was “nothing new” in the search.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Gabby Petito investigation

FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Peti...
Eliza Pace

Family of Gabby Petito files $50 million ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit against Moab PD

Gabby Petito's family announced with their attorneys that they would be filing a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department for the death of their daughter.
3 days ago
Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, Monday,...
BOBBY CAINA CALVAN, Associated Press

Gabby Petito’s legacy: $100K for domestic violence hotline

The mother of Gabby Petito is keeping the memory of her murdered daughter alive by speaking out on behalf of domestic abuse survivors.
7 days ago
Joseph Petito, father of Gabby Petito, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, September 28, 20...
CNN

Florida judge allows lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents against Brian Laundrie’s parents to proceed

A Florida circuit court judge has ruled a lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito's parents against Brian Laundrie's parents can move forward.
1 month ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Eliza Pace

Judge denies Brian Laundrie’s parents request to dismiss lawsuit

A circuit court judge denied Roberta and Christopher Laundrie's motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by Gabby Petito's parents, Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito.
1 month ago
Gabby Petito (Police photo)...
Maria Cartaya, CNN & Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Florida judge is expected to make a decision in coming weeks on a lawsuit by Gabby Petito’s parents

A Florida judge plans to issue an order within the next two weeks on the lawsuit of Gabby Petito's parents against the parents of Brian Laundrie.
2 months ago
Gabby Petito (Police photo)...
Paradise Afshar, CNN

Gabby Petito’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate

Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Gabby Petito, has taken legal action against the estate of Brian Laundrie, by filing a complaint in Sarasota County Friday, in which she asks for monetary compensation for the "wrongful death" of her daughter.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Coroner says Gabby Petito strangled, was killed weeks before her body was found