Authorities released Gabby Petito’s cause of death Tuesday, determining the 22-year-old died of strangulation.
Dr. Brent Blue, from the Teton County Coroner’s office, determined Petito died of strangulation roughly three to four weeks before her body was found in Grand Teton National Park. Her death has been classified as a homicide. No other details will be released about Petito’s cause of death in accordance with Wyoming state laws, Blue said.
Blue confirmed DNA samples were taken from Petito’s body by law enforcement agencies. Blue would not confirm the condition in which Petito’s body was found, instead saying her body was outside for a long period of time.
The Teton County coroner has found that Gabby Petito died by strangulation and her death has been ruled a homicide. pic.twitter.com/SSf0aIpvUW
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 12, 2021
Petito’s body was found in Wyoming in late September, and preliminary investigations determined her death was a homicide.
Petito was last seen Aug. 24 after she and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, checked out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The couple had embarked on a cross-country trip in July but Laundrie returned home to his parents’ house in Florida on Sept. 1.
Petito had been reported missing by her mother on Sept. 11 after family said they hadn’t heard from her since the last week of August. (RELATED: Brian Laundrie’s Father To Join Search For Fugitive Son)
Authorities then released bodycam footage from an Aug. 12 interaction with Petito and Laundrie showing an emotionally distraught Petito and relatively calm Laundrie. A 911 caller had reported seeing Laundrie slapping Petito on the side of the road. Bodycam footage shows Petito crying hysterically and telling the responding officer she was going through “personal issues” while Laundrie said they had a long day of camping.
Petito then explained how Laundrie refused to let her back in the van because he thought she needed to calm down. Petito told authorities Laundrie “didn’t hit me” but grabbed her face hard. Nonetheless, Petito was listed as the suspect after Laundrie said he had to push Petito away several times after she allegedly hit him.