Gabby Petito Case: Florida State Attorney Says Murder Charges ‘Are Imminent’

by Leanne Stahulak

Now that autopsy reports have revealed Gabby Petito’s cause of death, one Florida State Attorney believes “murder charges are imminent.”

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue held a press conference earlier this week to confirm Petito’s time and cause of death. Last month, he confirmed her death as a homicide, but now he says she died by manual strangulation. Meaning, someone used their bare hands to strangle her, not a rope or object.

Authorities found Petito’s body in Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19. Based on the autopsy, Blue says she died weeks before that, sometime in late August.

With all of these facts confirmed, The U.S. Sun reports that State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg believes “murder charges are imminent” for the case. He said as much in the tweet below, which he posted right after the coroner released the autopsy results.

“Gabby Petito’s death was previously ruled a homicide. Today we learned that the cause of death was strangulation. This most likely means that murder charges are imminent,” he tweeted.

Aronberg followed up this announcement by speaking with WPTV about next steps.

“We’re moving towards filing charges but prosecutors are in no rush to file charges because once you file those charges, you have speedy trial rules and you have to try the case within 180 days,” Aronberg told the outlet. “Prosecutors are going to make sure they have enough evidence before they file charges.”

As of right now, the police have not named a suspect in Gabby Petito’s murder. However, her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, remains a person of interest in the case. He also has warrants out for his arrest after he fraudulently used someone else’s debit card during Petito’s disappearance.

Expert Speak on Nature of Strangulation in Gabby Petito Case

Although Brian Laundrie hasn’t been charged with murder, it doesn’t look good for the 23-year-old. He disappeared on Sept. 14 and nobody’s seen him since. Authorities continue searching for him, as well as others like John Walsh and Dog the Bounty Hunter.

But somebody killed Gabby Petito, and authorities want to know who and why. According to Dr. Dan Field, a board-certified emergency physician and an expert witness in Florida strangulation homicide cases, strangling someone is a “long, deliberate process.”

The expert spoke to Fox News Digital after the coroner released the autopsy results. He said that strangulation is an “intimate” way of killing someone, and one that can’t be easily explained as an act of passion, intimacy, or eroticism.

“I [testified in] a murder case in Florida, where the defense was trying to put forth the theory that it was a moment of passion… And so the question I was asked is how long does it take for strangulation to kill somebody?” Field said. “The numbers are very, very specific.”

Specifically, it takes between 62 and 157 seconds to kill someone by manual strangulation. That’s not a quick, easy death for the victim, and it’s not a split-second decision by the attacker either. We’ll have to wait and see who could do such a thing to 22-year-old Gabby Petito.