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Gabby Petito's Cause Of Death Was Strangulation: Coroner

Patch logo Patch 10/12/2021 Peggy Spellman Hoey
The death of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19 in Wyoming, has been ruled a homicide. © Nichole Schmidt The death of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19 in Wyoming, has been ruled a homicide.

TETON COUNTY, WY — Dr. Brent Blue announced Tuesday that Gabby Petito's autopsy revealed she was strangled to death, and it happened roughly three to four weeks before her body was found in Wyoming.

He would not say how the examiners came to arrive at their conclusion that she was strangled and cited Wyoming law that prevents him from releasing the information.

The announcement was made during a news conference held over a Zoom session with reporters. It can be watched on the CBS livestream above and refresh this page for updates.

Petito, the 22-year-old who captured the hearts of people around the world as her family and law enforcement officials frantically searched to find her, was found dead near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sept. 19. Her death has been ruled a homicide, but the cause has not been released.

Petito, a Long Island native, was part of the nation’s Van Life crew — people who had dreams of downsizing while living life on the road — but she stopped contact with her family sometime around Aug 25. Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, returned home to North Port, Fla., without her in her van that they had been traveling in on Sept. 1.


Video: Gabby Petito case: What medical examiners will be looking for during autopsy (FOX News)

Leading up to the discovery, Laundrie refused to speak with police and was named a person of interest days after Petito was declared missing on Sept. 11. He was reported missing by his family two days before Petito’s body was found. He is now sought on a federal arrest warrant after reportedly using her bank card after her death.

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Laundrie has not yet been labeled a suspect in Petito’s death, but there is an active inter-state manhunt seeking to bring him in on the federal arrest warrant. His family attorney, Steven Bertolino of East Islip, previously said the Laundries would not comment on the case.

The bounty case involving Laundrie has brought significant media attention from celebrity bounty hunters and John Walsh, as well as Duane “Dog, the bounty hunter,” Chapman, and mental health talk show hosts like Dr. Phil McGraw, not to mention celebrity sleuths like Nancy Grace.

In the days after Petito’s death, makeshift memorials sprang up in her hometown of Blue Point on Long Island as well as North Port, Utah, and Wyoming. Candle-lit vigils were held in her memory on Sept. 24 in Blue Point and Selden. Thousands are estimated to have attended her public memorial at the Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook on Sept. 26.

Petito’s family has started the Gabby Petito Foundation to help other families with missing loved ones.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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