A 22-year-old American blogger, Gabby Petito who went missing on a road trip with
her fiancé was strangled to death, a Wyoming coroner has ruled.
Gabby Petito had been dead for several weeks when her body was found last month
near a national park the couple had visited, coroner Brent Blue said.
Ms Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in the case but has been
missing since mid-September.
The plight of the travel influencer captured global attention.
She had been documenting their nomadic “van life” trip through national parks in the
American West on social media.
Her disappearance also triggered a debate over the amount of attention accorded to
missing white women.
On Tuesday, Dr. Blue told a news conference that Ms. Petito’s body was found in a
campsite with signs of strangulation.
Her body had been “outside in the wilderness for three to four weeks” before she was
discovered on 20 September, the coroner said.
He would not confirm if an item was used to kill her. He did not disclose details of her
toxicology report, but did say that Ms. Petito was not pregnant at the time of her
The Teton County coroner’s ruling follows an initial post-mortem in September in
which he had called the death a homicide, meaning it had been caused by another
officials are in contact with Ms. Petito’s family about transferring her remains.
“Unfortunately, this is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are
involved in domestic violence and it’s unfortunate that these other deaths do not get
as much coverage as this one,” Dr Blue added.
He said the area was experiencing a “media circus”. The case has also captivated
amateur detectives, from TikTok sleuths to TV personalities.
According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, nearly 90,000 missing
person cases were actively ongoing at the end of 2020, though few receive national
attention, let alone international coverage.