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Gabby Petito's autopsy showed she died from strangulation: 5 Things podcast

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/13/2021 USA TODAY
Did Gabby Petito police footage reveal subtle signs of abuse, gaslighting from Laundrie? © Provided by USA TODAY Did Gabby Petito police footage reveal subtle signs of abuse, gaslighting from Laundrie?

On today's episode of 5 Things: Gabby Petito died by strangulation according to her autopsy. A coroner says her death also likely came nearly a month before her body was found. Plus, a bill to raise the debt ceiling lands on President Joe Biden's desk, the Las Vegas Raiders move to a new coach after Jon Gruden's resignation, William Shatner heads to space and snow slams the West.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson, and this is 5 things you need to know, wednesday, the 13th of October 2021. Today, the latest from Gabby Petito's death, plus Biden will sign the debt ceiling measure, and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines. The United States will allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists to cross its land borders for non-essential reasons starting next month. That marks the first time since March of 2020, when coronavirus shutdowns began in North America. The European Union has pledged a billion euros for the people of Afghanistan, and G20 countries said yesterday that they'll accelerate aid to the country. There are concerns that an already dangerous humanitarian and financial situation will grow catastrophic over the winter. And three quarters of Major League Baseball's championship series are set. The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves both moved on yesterday in their respective leagues. The Astros will take on the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, while the Braves await the winner of the NLDS between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Taylor Wilson:

Gabby Petito, the 22-year old travel vlogger whose disappearance last month fueled nationwide interest, died by strangulation. That's according to a Wyoming coroner yesterday, who also said her body had been in the wilderness for nearly a month before it was found on September 19th. Teton County coroner, Dr. Brent Blue.

Dr. Brent Blue:

After a detailed investigation by our forensic pathologist, our anthropologist and local law enforcement with assistance from the FBI, the Teton County Coroner's Office is following the following verdict. In the manner of death of Gabrielle Venora Petito, we find the cause and manner to be: cause, death by strangulation, and manner is homicide. This autopsy included a whole body CAT scan, a examination by our forensic pathologist, an examination by our forensic anthropologist and toxicology evaluation. So we've pretty much covered all the bases. I can tell you the DNA samples were taken by law enforcement, and all I can tell you about remains is that the body was outside for three to four weeks.

Taylor Wilson:

Petito was on a cross country road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who later returned to Florida without her. He then went missing himself and has still not been found. In an interview last week, his sister, Cassie Laundrie said she does not know where he is and her calls to him have gone to voicemail. Brian has not been charged in Gabby's death, but he does face charges of the unauthorized use of a credit card and several accounts involving more than a thousand dollars. The case has also sparked a national conversation about whose disappearances get attention from the public, media, and law enforcement. The coroner, Dr. Blue also commented on that yesterday saying, "Unfortunately, this is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved with domestic violence, and it's unfortunate that these other deaths did not get as much coverage as this one." Indigenous, black and brown people go missing at higher rates, but tend to attract less media coverage than white people, particularly white women. Blue said he could not comment on who may have killed Petito, but that law enforcement took DNA samples from the body.

Taylor Wilson:


Video: Gabby Petito's Cause of Death Revealed (E! News)

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A bill to raise the country's debt ceiling for the next few weeks is heading to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature today. The bill lifts the ceiling by $480 billion to allow the government to keep paying its bills into early December and to avoid the economic chaos that would come if the US defaulted on that debt. Experts say that a US default for the first time would have possibly led to a global recession and would've slammed 401(k)s and other investments. Biden himself was adamant earlier this month about getting it done.

Joe Biden:

It's about paying for what we owe and preventing a catastrophic event occurring in our economy. It's not right, and it's dangerous.

Taylor Wilson:

The House then passed the bill last week, but the measure is only temporary and lawmakers set up another fight for early December when they'll need to find a longterm solution. The Las Vegas Raiders will have a new interim head coach beginning today. Rich Bisaccia takes over after previously working as assistant head coach. The change comes after head coach Jon Gruden resigned this week, following homophobic, racist and misogynistic emails, including a racist trope against NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gruden's behavior came under fire when The Wall Street Journal uncovered an email from 2011 with those comments, and the NFL found additional emails as part of a separate investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington football team, showing more damning messages, according to a New York Times report. Gruden won a Super Bowl back in 2003 as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a long broadcasting career on ESPN's Monday Night Football. But as USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour says those things will now take a backseat on his legacy.

Nancy Armour:

These emails came from the League. That's the only place that they could have come from. So somebody in the League wanted him out. So if that's the case, then he's not coaching in the NFL again. And I think even colleges would know that he's way too toxic to be considered. And if you're a broadcaster, you have to worry about sponsors. You have to worry about your audience. You have to worry about the people he's going to be working with. So, no, I think his career is done. It's over. It's a good thing he was getting paid $10 million a year by the Raiders, because he is going to need that. This is one of those, we always talk about the first line in somebody's obituary, and this is going to be in John Gruden's. Yeah. He won a super bowl with the Buccaneers. He's been considered one of the best coaches. He had a outstanding career as a broadcaster. All of that is going to... This is going to overshadow it and it should, frankly. It's reprehensible.

Nancy Armour:

As far as a cautionary tale, I'm guessing that you had a whole lot of owners and team executives last night calling their IT guys saying, "Go through all of our servers. Get anything out that's going to be incriminating." Unfortunately, this is going to cause people to go underground. I don't know that it's going to change hearts and minds. I think it might just make people a little bit more cautious about who they're spewing this kind of stuff, too.

Taylor Wilson:

You can follow more of Nancy's work on Twitter, @nrarmour. William Shatner is going to space for real.

William Shatner:

The greatest danger facing us is ourselves and our rational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown, only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.

Taylor Wilson:

The actor is best known for playing Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek, and today, if all goes according to plan, will become the oldest person ever in space. Shatner will take flight with three other passengers on a rocket from Blue Origin, the company founded by Jeff Bezos. So far, it's only had one other human flight earlier this summer. On that launch, Bezos, his brother, and two others went to suborbital space. Also, onboard today will be a Blue Origin vice president and two other entrepreneurs who bid unsuccessfully on the previous flight with Bezos. The launch had been scheduled for yesterday from West Texas, but high winds forced a 24-hour delay.

Taylor Wilson:

Snow - that's a word some might not want to hear yet, but people in parts of the country will have no choice today. Heavy snow and high winds from the season's first winter storm will hit the west. That includes parts of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho with snowfall totals up to two feet in some areas. The storm is also bringing high winds that already surged through California yesterday, bringing down trees, fanning wildfires, man shutting off power to thousands of homes and businesses in central and northern parts of the state. Temperatures are also falling below average, across much of the west.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things, and if you like the show, be sure to tell your family and friends about it. And if you're on Apple Podcasts, please drop us a five-star rating and review. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their excellent work on the show, and you can find us seven days a week wherever you're listening right now. 5 Things is part of the USA Today Network.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gabby Petito's autopsy showed she died from strangulation: 5 Things podcast

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