Wyoming Coroner announced Tuesday that cross-country Traveler Gabby Petito has been strangled to death.
Petito, 22, died three to four weeks before her body was found on Sept. 19 near an undeveloped camping area along the border with Grand Teton National Park in remote northern Wyoming, Teton County Coroner Drs. Brent Blue said at a news conference.
It is not clear whether this decision will lead to additional charges against Petito’s boyfriend and travel partner, Brian Laundry, who is considered a person of interest in her distinction and remains unaccounted for.
Blue declined to say much about the autopsy or the case as a whole, saying he was barred by Wyoming law, which limits what executors can release.
Petito was on a country-abroad trip with her boyfriend. Her parents were reported missing on Sept. 11 after she failed to respond to calls and texts for several days when the couple visited Western Parks.
Blue had previously classified Petito’s death as homicide – meaning her death was caused by another person – but did not reveal how she was killed while most autopsy results were pending.
Petito’s case has led to new calls for people to pay more attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other colored people, with some commentators describing them as “missing white woman syndrome.”
The search for laundry has created a frenzy, with TV personalities like Duane Chaman – known as Dog the Bounty Hunter – and longtime “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh working to locate them.
Petito and Laundry have posted online about their trip in a converted white Ford Transit van. They had a physical altercation on August 12 in Moab, Utah, leading to a police standoff, which ended with the quarreling couple deciding to split up for the night. No charges were filed, and no serious injuries were reported.
Investigators searched for laundry in Florida and their parent’s home in the northern port about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Sarasota.
Federal officials in Wyoming last month accused Laundry of using an unauthorized debit card, claiming that he used the Little One bank card and someone’s personal identification number to withdraw unauthorized withdrawals or fees worth more than $ 1,000 in the event of Petito’s loss. He did not say who the card belonged to.
In Florida, search teams led by the FBI are looking for a vast nature preserve for any sign of laundry. After searching for weeks in the swamp Carlton Reserve in the south of Sarasota – where Laundry’s parents went after returning home from the west – they found nothing.
Laundry family lawyer Steve Bertolino said in an email that “there is nothing new.”