Dr. Brent Blue, the Teton County Wyoming coroner, stated on Tuesday that Gabby Petito died after being manually strangled.
Blue had already ruled that the young woman’s death, which shocked the US, was a homicide, but he only now released the cause of death.
The coroner stated on Tuesday that Petito died approximately three to four weeks before her body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on September 19.
Gabby Petito died by strangulation
Limited by Wyoming state law, Blue could only release the manner and cause of death, and any other details of the autopsy will not be available to the public.
The new information has fueled protests outside of the home of Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s parents. Laundrie, Petito’s ex-fiance, is a person of interest in the investigation into her death and is currently missing.
The couple had been taking a cross-country roadtrip in Petito’s van before her murder. The case garnered national attention after Laundrie abruptly returned to his parent’s home in Florida without Petito, from whom no one had heard in days.
Petito, originally from Suffolk County, New York, was reported missing by her parents on September 11, after they had lost touch with her during the van trip. At that point, they knew that she was either in or near Grand Teton National Park.
Gabrielle, who went by the nickname of Gabby, was born in 1999; she and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, first met in high school in Suffolk County, New York. Petito, who graduated from Bayport-Blue Point High School in 2017, also lived in Blue Point, New York, before moving in with Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida, in 2019.
Police body camera footage released of the couple added to the attention on the case. The footage was taken when a police officer pulled over Petito and Laundrie after noticing an unusual pattern in their driving.