Panama City

Panama City, FL – LIVE: Coroner says Gabby Petito was strangled to death

Panama City, FL –

Watch WFLA Now at 2:00 p.m. EDT

UPDATE:

Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby Petito’s cause of death was strangulation. She is believed to have died three to four weeks before her body was found.

ORIGINAL REPORT:

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As exhaustive search for Brian Laundrie continues, a Wyoming coroner should take stock of the findings of his fiancée’s autopsy.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue will discuss Gabby Petito’s autopsy decision at 2:30 p.m. via Zoom. WFLA to broadcast live in preparation for its announcement at 2:00 p.m.

Blue had judged his death a homicide, but did not reveal the cause of death, pending final autopsy results.

Petito was reported missing by her family on September 11 after she failed to return from a months-long trip across the country with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. His remains were found on September 19 at a campsite in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

For the past month, Laundrie, a person of interest in the case, has been on the run. An arrest warrant does not explicitly link Laundrie to Petito’s death, but alleges he committed debit card fraud between August 30 and September 1, around the time she was seen alive for the last time.

Laundrie’s parents told the FBI they last saw him on September 13 before going for a hike in the Carlton reserve. A search for laundry in the reserve is in progress.

Blue is expected to provide an update on the findings of Petito’s autopsy on Tuesday and respond briefly to questions from reporters.

“I think the coroner will publish the official results, however, I will be very surprised if he publishes the exact cause of death, how the death, beyond homicide,” Ex-FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told News Nation Now’s Brian Entin.

Coffindaffer explained that authorities usually withhold autopsy findings so they can be used to corroborate confessions in murder cases.

“This is an ongoing investigation and these details are so crucial to the investigation,” Coffindaffer added. “Also, let’s say specific details are leaked – for example, that she was strangled – and later there are witnesses who say they thought they observed something maybe, a strangulation. “Is that coming from the coroner’s report and the details of that, or was it something that they really saw? It’s really important that those types of details are hidden in this type of case.”

She said information about Laundrie and her whereabouts is unlikely to be discussed as Blue is solely responsible for conducting the autopsy and disclosing information about the results.

“Everything about Brian Laundrie’s indictment would be made public by the FBI,” she said.

“This investigation is really in its infancy. It’s accelerating very quickly because of the nature of the investigation, the media coverage, the fact that he’s on the run, ”Coffindaffer added. “And the FBI is just beginning its investigation. They’re just getting feedback on their subpoenas, they’re just working on analyzing the DNA evidence, the autopsy report is now complete, and they’re going to get all of these details, so this is really just the beginning of it. the case.”



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