Gabby Petito strangled to death, coroner says

TETON COUNTY, Wy. (CNN) – Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman found dead in a Wyoming national park three weeks ago, died by strangulation. Her death, according to the Wyoming coroner, was ruled a homicide.

As CNN’s Leyla Santiago reports, investigators continue to search for Brian Laundrie, Petito’s fiancé, who disappeared after he became a person of interest.

The Teton County Coroner finally released the autopsy results of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The coroner initially determined Petito’s manner of death was a homicide, but the cause of her death had not been announced. Today, Dr. Brent Blue was limited in what he disclosed from his report.

“Who committed the homicide is to really to be determined by law enforcement,” Dr. Blue said. “This autopsy included a whole-body CAT scan, an examination by a forensic pathologist, anthropologist… so pretty much covered all the bases.”

The coroner would only say the official autopsy report shows the body was out in the wilderness before the remains were examined.

“As far as the time of death, we’re estimating 3 to 4 weeks from the time the body was found,” Dr. Blue said.

After an extensive search, Petito’s remains were found on September 19th in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. She was first reported missing by her parents on September 11th, more than a month ago.

Petito spent the summer traveling across the country in a van with fiancé Brian Laundrie, documenting their adventures on social media.

The couple was stopped by Moab police during their trip to Utah in mid-August after a 9-1-1 caller told dispatchers he saw a man hitting a woman.

Petito was emotional during the stop, appearing to take some responsibility for the incident.

Weeks later, when Laundrie returned to the Florida home they shared with his parents, Petito wasn’t with him, police said. Now, Brian Laundrie is missing.

While he was indicted for allegedly using a debit card without permission just before returning home alone, he has not been named a suspect in Petito’s death.

The FBI and local law enforcement have been searching the 25,000 acre Carlton Reserve near his Florida home based on information from his parents who told authorities Brian planned to hike there in mid-September.

Now, nearly a month later, investigators still don’t know where Laundrie is.

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