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Autopsy report shows Gabby Petito died of strangulation, Wyoming officials say

The death was ruled a homicide in September.
Gabby Petito
This combo of photos provided by FBI Denver via @FBIDenver shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, 22. Petito, who was reported missing from a road trip with her boyfriend, died by strangulation, an autopsy found. (Courtesy of FBI Denver via AP)

Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who was reported missing from a road trip with her boyfriend, died by strangulation, an autopsy found.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said Tuesday that an autopsy report found that Petito was strangled. Her body was likely outside “in the wilderness” for three to four weeks, Blue said.

Only the cause and manner of death can be released under Wyoming state rules, Blue said.

“In a situation like this, nothing is obvious,” Blue said. “The cause of death required investigation.”

Petito’s remains were found Sept. 19 in a remote area of Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the FBI said. ​Blue determined the manner of death was a homicide.

The 22-year-old was reported missing Sept. 11 after her family said it hadn’t heard from her since the end of August, police said.

Petito, from Blue Point, New York, lived with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, and his parents in North Port, Florida.

She was on a cross-country trip to national parks with him when she was last seen and was believed to be in Grand Teton National Park, officials said.

Authorities said Laundrie had left the road trip and returned to Florida on Sept. 1 — 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing.

His family reported he never returned from a hike at the end of September, and authorities have been searching for him in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve swamp since.

Laundrie was named a person of interest in the case after Petito’s remains were found, and a federal arrest warrant was issued for him on Sept. 22. He was charged with using unauthorized bank accounts after Petito’s death, according to an indictment posted by the FBI.

Before Petito’s remains were found, police said Laundrie had “not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators.”

“The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in September. “The answers will eventually come out.”

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