Gabby Petito Case: Wyoming Coroner Says Petito Was Strangled by ‘Human Force’

by Matthew Memrick

After revealing that Gabby Petito died by strangulation, the Wyoming coroner filed papers to announce the woman’s death came from “human force.”

In a CNN interview, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue offered new details on the Long Island woman’s death investigation.

The New York Post reported Blue’s factfinding, which listed Petito’s death as “manual strangulation/throttling.” The coroner told interviewer Anderson Cooper “there was no mechanical force involved.”

“People can be strangled by other means,” he said. “We have seen people on snowmobiles who run into a wire – that would be strangling by a mechanical event. But this was, we believe this was strangling by a human being.”

Human Source of Petito’s Death

Cooper asked how Blue how he could make that determination in Gabby Petito’s death.

Blue cited that the death came from hands with opposable thumbs. He also said that there were no evidence animals were involved.

The coroner determined the 22-year-old woman had been dead for three or four weeks before officials found her body. Authorities found her body on Sept. 19 in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.

In an early report, officials said Gabby Petito died in a homicide. But Blue issued Tuesday’s announcement with more details. Unfortunately, state law limits further information to the public.

Questions remain about Petito’s death, like an exact time and the condition of the woman’s body. Blue did not say if Petito’s killer buried her or not.

Search Still On For Laundrie 

Authorities are still looking for Brian Laundrie. The 23-year-old boyfriend is considered a person of interest in Petito’s death. 

Blue would not talk about Laundrie. He did liken Gabby Petito’s death to the scores of others who suffer from domestic violence and threw shade on the media for not reporting on them.

Cooper asked Blue about his statements and, specifically, if he thought she was a victim of domestic violence.

“That’s an assumption,” Blue said. “That was strictly an assumption.”

People last saw Petito alive in late August while the woman was on a cross-country trip with Laundrie. The couple left New York after July 4 for the trip.

However, the trip ended, and Laundrie went home to his parents’ North Port, Fla.-home early on Sept. 1. After he refused to cooperate with law enforcement, Petito went missing on Sept. 11. Since then, agencies have sought Laundrie and, many have called in nationwide tips about the man’s whereabouts.

The family held Petito’s funeral on Sept. 26. Laundrie’s family hired a lawyer during talks with the FBI. The parents recently made changes to a statement, altering the timeline of their son’s disappearance. 

Notably, “Dog The Bounty Hunter” star Duane Chapman has been on the hunt for Laundrie, and his daughter is keeping the public aware of his search through social media.