Officials in Wyoming’s Teton County said Tuesday that 22-year-old Gabby Petito was strangled to death, having found her body in a remote area of Wyoming last month.
Pettito’s death had already been ruled a homicide, but Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue released his cause of death for the first time — strangulation — during a news conference on Tuesday.
his body was met near Bridger-Teton National Forest in a remote area of western Wyoming on September 19.
Blue said his “preliminary determination” is that Pettito had been killed 3-4 weeks before his remains were recovered.
Petito was reported missing on September 11, but she last spoke to her family on August 24 and posted the last on Instagram the next day.
what we don’t know
It’s unclear where Petito’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Brian Laundry, is. Laundry was reported missing on September 17 – two weeks after returning alone to Florida after a four-month cross-country road trip with Petito. A federal arrest warrant was issued on September 23 for Laundry, alleging that he committed debit card fraud in Wyoming following Pettito’s death.
Petito’s disappearance and the circumstances behind his death have sparked widespread national interest in the case, with the laundry’s subsequent disappearance drawing even more attention. The couple left New York on a cross-country roadtrip in a van on July 2, which they documented on YouTube and Instagram accounts that had thousands of followers. At one point during the trip, police responded to a domestic incident between the two in Moab, Utah, when a 911 caller said he saw a man hitting a woman. An officer who interviewed Petito at the scene noted that she “wasn’t able to write a sentence without needing to wipe away tears” as he spoke to her. Petito claimed she was suffering from a mental health crisis and that no charges were filed. The couple were later seen on August 27 at a restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming, where laundry appeared to be angrily and Petito was crying. Pettito’s body was found in a remote camping area on September 19, when Van Pettito and the laundry were traveling, seen in a video of the area.
Here’s What We Know About Gabby Petito’s Disappearance—And What We Don’t (Businesshala)