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Gabby Petito Died from Strangulation, According to Medical Examiner

Gabby Petito died as a result of strangulation, according to a medical examiner who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.

The full autopsy results were released more than three weeks after her body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park, bringing an end to a grueling search for the 22-year-old woman, whose mysterious disappearance while on a road trip with her fiancé sparked widespread concern.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced on Sept. 21 that Petito died as a result of homicide, but no further information about her cause of death was initially released.

Blue told reporters on Tuesday that he is unable to reveal many details about the autopsy due to Wyoming state law. He refused to say whether Petito was strangled manually or with an object, but he did say her body was left outside for three to four weeks.

He also stated that Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death.

Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, had taken a cross-country trip in July, driving from Florida to New York in their white Ford van, then west. Petito planned to start a blog about their new “vandwelling” lifestyle after documenting their adventures on her YouTube channel.

The couple’s journey appeared to be going well until late August, when Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, stopped receiving phone calls while staying in Grand Teton National Park. Schmidt learned, more than two weeks after their last conversation, that Laundrie had quietly returned to his parents’ Florida home without her daughter.

Petito was reported missing on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie allegedly returned to Florida. He was named a person of interest in his fiancée’s disappearance on September 15.

Unsettling details about Petito’s trip emerged during the search for her. Dispatchers in Moab, Utah, received a 911 call about a domestic dispute involving Petito and Laundrie about two weeks before she was last heard from, in which the caller stated that “the gentleman was slapping the girl.”

Police located the couple and pulled them over, and their interaction lasted more than an hour, with the officers suggesting that the two spend the night apart to get some space from one another. Laundrie was driven to a hotel for the night. The entire incident was captured on body camera footage, which has since been made public.

On September 17, police obtained a search warrant for an external hard drive in the van Petito was traveling in. According to the police affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, the final text Schmidt received from her daughter was “odd,” and it came days after their last verbal contact.

“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” the message said, according to police.

According to the affidavit, Schmidt told investigators that Stan is Petito’s grandfather, but she doesn’t usually refer to him by his first name, which led Schmidt to believe something was wrong with her daughter.

Petito’s phone was no longer operational the day after Schmidt received the unusual text, and she did not post anything on social media, according to the search warrant affidavit, which was “not normal behavior for [Petito], and they became more concerned about her.”

FBI: The Body Discovered In Wyoming Has Been Identified As That Of Missing Woman Gabby Petito

Investigators say they tried unsuccessfully to speak with Laundrie and his parents for the first several days of Petito’s missing person case. They were directed to the family’s attorney, who had told his clients not to speak out.

The Laundrie family spoke with the FBI for the first time on September 17 — but instead of getting answers about Petito’s disappearance, investigators say they were told that Laundrie himself had gone missing, prompting the launch of a second missing persons case to find Petito’s fiancé.

Laundrie has still not been found as of Tuesday, despite extensive searches in a Florida wildlife preserve where he is believed to have gone hiking on the day he vanished.

Authorities have yet to identify a suspect in Petito’s disappearance and murder.

People News

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