Gabby Petito's tattoos used to identify her, decomposed body may delay cause of death
Gabby Petito's disappearance shook the country and when the police department found her body in Wyoming, our hearts broke. Now, police have made the latest revelation, stating that Petito's tattoos helped in identifying her as experts warn decomposition might make it hard to find how she died.
Although the initial findings were that the vlogger died as a result of homicide, full details are expected to be revealed by the final autopsy results. Earlier this week the body that was found in Wyoming, was confirmed to be that of the beloved vlogger. Former New York Chief Medical Examiner Michael Baden said that the FBI may also have a cause of death if signs of trauma are "obvious," such as a gunshot wound. The autopsy results are expected to reveal the cause and time of death, whether the person died at the location where remains were discovered, and a DNA match.
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"Most people want to hear about DNA," he said before adding that the 22-year-old's tattoos would have been a telltale sign. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said that Petito's official cause of death is still pending final autopsy results but that the initial manner of death is homicide. But an expert says it is highly unlikely an autopsy will provide quick answers in determining Gabby's time and cause of death.
Speaking to Fox & Friends First, forensic pathologist Dr Priya Banerjee said: "You just never know what can be found with further testing. Then even with decomposition, sometimes the bugs found on the body and other tissue changes can even tell you help you along the lines for dating -bugs, soil elements that can actually, if a forensic entomologist gets involved, they can work backward to try to deduce a better timeline for when she was killed."
It comes as her fiance Brian Laundrie remains missing. The pair were on a cross-country road trip back in July. Petito was reported missing earlier this month after Laundrie returned home without her. Authorities found her body in Grand Teton National Park on September 19 while Laundrie vanished and is being hunted by cops.
Petito had wanted to become a travel influencer and more specifically, a van-lifer willing to document her travels around the country on Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms, often using the hashtag #vanlife. According to Slate, some of the van-lifers tried to solve the case by applying their particular knowledge of the nomadic van lifestyle. Tiktoker Nikita Crump, a 30-year-old van-lifer of two years told Slate, “Before her body was found, we were all sharing maps of where her destinations were, where she was planning on going. We were sharing where her tattoos are.” They hoped that “because we’re more a part of that community, because our followers are more into hiking, maybe they’re over there, [and] we could be more involved and have more of an effect.”