How did Brian Laundrie’s family react to Gabby Petito’s autopsy?
In a murder case that continues to escalate as we speak, the long-awaited autopsy report on the remains of Gabby Petito has been released. However, more shocking than Petito’s cause of death is the continuing manhunt for the main suspect: Brian Laundrie. As authorities search a vast Florida nature reserve for the person of interest, his family remains silent on their son’s whereabouts.
Yet, the Laundrie family did have a few words when Gabby Petito’s autopsy report was released. Read what Brian Laundrie’s family had to say about Petito’s death and the full details of her autopsy report.
The autopsy report
The Teton County Coroner revealed that Gabby Petito died by strangulation while maintaining her death as a homicide. Petito was strangled to death by “human force,” the Wyoming coroner who oversaw the vlogger’s autopsy said on Tuesday.
Official documents offered more details, such as listing the death as “manual strangulation/throttling.” Teton County Coroner Brent Blue reported, “Throttling means that someone was strangled by human force. 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.”
He also estimates the time she was killed was possibly three to four weeks before her remains were found by authorities. When explaining why the autopsy took so long, Blue described his desire to be as thorough as possible. He waited for not only proper toxicology reports but also analysis from other specialists such as an anthropologist who was requested to weigh. The coroner also noted that Gabby was not pregnant.
The Laundrie family responds
The Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino, told NewsNation Now correspondent Brian Entin that “Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy.”
The family added, “While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise. At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
Petito’s mother angered by the statement
However, Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, rejected Bertolino’s attempt to maintain Brian Laundrie’s innocence. “His words are garbage. Keep talking,” she wrote in a text to WFLA’s J.B. Biunno. According to the Petito family attorney, no other statements will be made by the victim’s family until they bring her remains home.
What we still don’t know
Although officials ruled her death a homicide, the cause of death wasn’t revealed until Tuesday afternoon, when Blue briefed members of the media on the results of the autopsy. However, he announced that under Wyoming law, he wouldn’t release further details.
Blue didn’t determine the exact time of Petito’s death, and also didn’t expose details such as the condition of her body when it was found. It’s still unknown whether her remains were found buried.
Although the coroner didn’t speculate about the involvement of Petito’s fugitive boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, Blue said during his news conference that her death was one of many of “people who are involved in domestic violence” and it was unfortunate that others don’t get as much attention.
Brian Laundrie still missing
Brian Laundrie’s parents informed police that he went on a hike on September 14th at the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned home.
On Tuesday, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said in a statement that “upon further communication with the FBI,” they “now believe” that Laundrie left the house a day earlier, on September 13th.
Brian Laundrie is the only person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death and is now the subject of a widespread FBI-led manhunt.