Authorities said on Tuesday that Gabrielle Petito, a Florida woman whose disappearance led to a widespread investigation into her fiancé, who returned home without her from a tour of the country before disappearing himself, died of suffocation.
Dr. Brent Blue, Coroner of Teton County, Wyoming, did not report in the briefing how Ms. Petito was strangled. He said her body had been outside for three to four weeks before being found on September 19 in the Bridger Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
The Teton County Coroner’s Office determined on September 21 that her death was a homicide, but Dr. Blue said Tuesday that he did not know the exact date of Ms. Petito’s death.
“There will be no exact date of death on the death certificate,” he said.
Dr. Blue said little about Ms. Petito’s body condition, although he said she was not pregnant at the time of her death. Authorities conducted a toxicology test on her body at a local morgue, but did not disclose the results. Dr. Blue has sent further questions about the murder to the FBI.
Florida police are still combing the state’s vast nature reserve in search of Ms Petito’s fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Landry, whom police have described as a “person of interest.” Police said that prior to his disappearance, Mr. Landry refused to speak to investigators through a lawyer. Authorities later issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of debit card fraud.
In July, Ms. Petito and Mr. Landry took to the national parks and travel the country in a white Ford van equipped with a bed and other essentials on a van-to-life adventure.
On September 1, Mr. Landry returned to North Port, Florida, to the home where he lived with his parents and Ms. Petito, in a van that was registered to Ms. Petito.
Ten days later, Ms. Petito’s family reported her missing. Soon, the FBI and National Park Rangers, who covered at least two states, joined the search.
Then, six days after Ms. Petito was reported missing, Mr. Loundry’s parents told police they had not seen him for several days and began a second search for the missing person. Authorities began combing 24,565 acres of Carlton Nature Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, and the FBI issued a search warrant for the laundry residence.
When Ms Petito’s family and police asked for help from the public, the case generated a lot of interest on social media, including from those who closely scrutinized the couple’s hilarious Instagram posts and others who criticized the lack of similar attention to the missing cases. women color.
Ms Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, said last month that social media users were “amazing” and “very influential” in his daughter’s case.
“To be honest, it should continue for others as well,” he said at a press conference. “This same type of heightened awareness should be continued for everyone – for everyone.”