Gabby Petito’s cause of death may not be revealed as cops struggle to find clues
'If she’s strangled, the evidence is going to be limited,' said Joseph Giacalone, a criminal justice professor at the City University of New York
Experts have expressed their fear that Gabby Petito’s cause of death may not be revealed soon because her remains left in the wilderness for weeks may be causing issues for cops to find clues. The 22-year-old Long Island YouTuber’s body was found in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on September 19 and a preliminary autopsy declared the manner of death as a homicide.
On September 21, the Denver office of the FBI said in a statement: “Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results.”
Gabby’s body has not yet been released as authorities are still trying to find the cause of death. Joseph Giacalone, a criminal justice professor at the City University of New York, said, “If she's strangled, the evidence is going to be limited. In the respect that you're not going to have blood everywhere and, you know, hair fibers or all that other stuff.”
Giacalone also noted that investigators may have to struggle a lot while collecting evidence because they could be dealing with a number of crime scenes, including the region from where Gabby’s remains were discovered and the converted van in which the young woman and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, were traveling together. “Each scene will hold a significant piece of physical evidence that they will need to put this all together,” he added.
George Kirkham, a professor emeritus at Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said since the body was in the forest for days, it may have become “very skeletonized”. “I don't know what will be available in terms of forensic evidence after that stage of decomposition,” Kirkham added.
Gabby and her 23-year-old boyfriend embarked on a cross-country trip in July. They visited a number of places, including Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. But tragically, Gabby’s body was found in mid-September after she was reported missing by her family on September 11. They reported her missing after they did not hear from her for several days. Besides, Brian returned from the trip on September 1 alone and did not tell anyone about her whereabouts.
On September 26, Gabby’s family held a funeral service for her. During the service, her father, Joe Petito, said: “She always wanted to go out and do stuff, whether it was scuba diving with my uncle, or myself or hiking the Appalachian trail, surfing sand dunes in Colorado. To see that type of joy that brought her, and the stones it took to do that at such a young age. I would like you to take a look at these videos and I want you to be inspired by them. I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby. If there's a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time.”