Gabby Petito may have been choked to death, says detective after seeing bodycam clip
Gabby Petito might have died from asphyxiation, according to a private investigator who recently visited the site where her remains were discovered.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue is expected to reveal the tragic 22-year-old vlogger's cause of death in a virtual press conference today at 12.30 pm MT today. While Petito's death has been ruled a homicide, authorities are yet to reveal other details about the cause and manner of her death. Meanwhile, her missing fiance Brian Laundrie is still at large.
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Salt Lake City-based investigator Jason Jenson spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of the press conference scheduled later today. Jenson explained that based on Petito's body language captured in an August 12 police bodycam footage in Moab, Utah, he believes the cause of death could be asphyxiation. He noted how the victim had told responding officers that her fiance grabbed her face during a domestic dispute between them. "I wouldn't be surprised that it's manual strangulation," Jenson asserted. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's choked her before. Any victim that's been choked before — their natural reaction is to lower their chin to their clavicle to prevent that hand from going around their throat."
Coroner Blue determined that Petito was a victim of homicide, but did not share the details of what factors may have led to her death. The Long Island woman was traveling cross country in a Ford Transit van with her fiance when she went missing. Laundrie, 23, returned home to North Port, Florida, by himself in September in the van they shared. He is currently the subject of a nationwide manhunt and is being sought by police on debit card fraud charges while being a "person of interest" in Petito's death.
Laundrie was reported missing on September 17 after he allegedly told his parents he was going hiking in the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned. Two days later, authorities discovered Petito's remains at a campsite near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Investigators are chasing down leads in multiple states since Laundrie went missing three weeks ago. The FBI is currently probing 11 alleged sightings of the outdoorsman along the Appalachian Trail close to the North Carolina Tennessee border. However, there hasn't been a single confirmed sighting to date, the Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile, police have also expressed doubts about Chris and Roberta Laundrie's claims that their son left home and went hiking to a nature preserve. A North Port police officer admitted there was a "lot of oddness" about their version of events and that some parts of their story "just didn't make sense".
"I mean if your son walks out there, now they're saying on a Monday, to report that on a Friday and then to be confused on what day that was — there are a lot of things that are odd there," North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told NewsNation reporter Brian Entin. He also said it was "possible" Laundrie is still alive. "I think it's certainly possible one way or the other," he added.