Gabby Petito's body bore no signs of struggle, crime scene hurriedly cleaned up: Expert
Petito was manually strangulated or throttled and no murder weapon was used. An expert noted that Petito 'didn’t attack her killer' before her death
TETON, WYOMING: Neary a month after Gabby Petito's body was found in a campsite close to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19, Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue ascertained that the vlogger was strangled to death. Dr Blue announced the autopsy results during a press conference Tuesday, October 12. "In the manner of death we find the cause and manner to because death by strangulation and manner is homicide, " he said. A prosecutor noted afterward that Gabby 'didn’t attack her killer' before she was strangled and the crime scene where her body was found didn't show 'any obvious signs of struggle'.
Dr Blue further informed that Petito was manually strangulated or throttled and no murder weapon was used. He did not provide a specific date for Petito's death, however, he stated that "the body was in the wilderness for three to four weeks" and that only an "approximate date" would be placed on her death certificate. Kurt Morgan, a prosecutor from Salt Lake City, after seeing the aerial footage of the scene from the day that Gabby’s remains were found, said, "All I see is one individual who suffered the damage and no evidence of injury created by her." He didn't notice any "obvious signs of struggle" on the ground.
Morgan further said the body was discovered next to a pair of hiking shoes, implying that the crime scene was hurriedly cleaned up. "This was quick. This was not sitting here for five or six hours, trying to figure out how to conceal a crime," he said.
Noted forensic pathologist Priya Banerjee also shared her insights into Gabby's death and remarked that the murderer had "a lot of anger" towards the victim. Speaking on CNBC's 'The News with Shepard Smith', Banerjee shared, “I think it’s important to know that, first of all, they were able to tell that she still had significant internal injuries, despite having decomposed, the body is not in the normal state after three or four weeks, so that’s really critical."
Explaining the exact manner of her death, Banerjee described manual strangulation as a crime that is "up close and personal". "You know, manual strangulation is done with the hands, or body part, for that matter. You don’t need anything outside of that...It's a lot of anger and very targeted toward the victim," she noted. The coroner, Dr Blue, on the other hand, declined to comment whether his findings pointed to Gabby's boyfriend, Brian Laundrie being the murderer. "I cannot make any comment about any suspects as we are not involved in that part of the investigation. So who committed the homicide is really to be confirmed by law enforcement, " he said.
The search for the fugitive fiance has slowed in recent days with no new, public updates on his whereabouts from law enforcement or the FBI, which is conducting an ongoing investigation into the homicide. Laundrie, 23, who is wanted on debit card fraud has been on the run for nearly a month, according to his parents.