Gabby Petito’s cause of death ruled manual strangulation

Information released from the Teton County, Wyoming coroner’s office regarding the death of Gabby Petito was “quite disappointing,” according to forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. 

According to Fox News, Wecht says that the information given on Tuesday about Petito’s cause of death had a glaring lack of information, other than the note that the cause of death was manual strangulation. 

“I found the [press] conference by the coroner’s office there to be quite disappointing,” Wecht said. “I don’t know why, frankly, he conducted a news conference at all.”

According to the pathologist, the only two important details coroner Brent Blue announced were that it was death by strangulation and the determination that Petito’s remains were discovered three to four weeks after she died. 

“Well, three to four weeks is no surprise because that was the period of time she was missing,” said Wecht. “Strangulation is a diagnosis that requires some anatomical, pathological question, and every question he was asked, he said he could not answer … or [was] not permitted to answer. I don’t know why he held that conference.”

Petito, 22 went missing while on a van trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie and was found at Bridger-Teton National Forest, north of Jackson Hole on Sept. 19 after widespread outrage over her case turned the eyes of the nation toward the investigation.

Results from her examination were, according to Wecht, still somewhat of a quandary, considering what was released to the public. The pathologist said that the coroner in Petito’s case operates “a separate, independent office” and is a forensic scientist that is not employed by any law enforcement. 

“I am puzzled by the diagnosis of strangulation because that must mean that it was manual strangulation with some fracture of the hyoid bone or the thyroid cartilage, and he didn’t tell us that, so we’ll have to wait until somebody — Laundrie, specifically — is found, arrested and charged. … And then … we’ll come to learn what those findings were.”

Laundrie, 23, is the lone person of interest at this time and is still at large.