- BBC News World
Authorities in the United States reported Tuesday that blogger Gabby Petito, who disappeared during a trip across the country with her boyfriend, died of strangulation.
The 22-year-old’s body was found in September in a national park the couple had visited in the state of Wyoming, after her disappearance case captured national attention.
According to Teton County Coroner Brent Blue, the body was found in a camp with signs of strangulation. It had been in the undergrowth for three or four weeks.
He said he could not reveal details about a toxicology report, but assured that the young woman I was not pregnant at the time of his death.
Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is considered a person of interest in the case. However, he has been missing since mid-September.
In addition to sparking a campaign to locate her, Petito’s disappearance also sparked a debate about the attention paid to missing white women’s cases, compared to many other cases in other minority communities.
“Unfortunately, this is only one of the many deaths nationwide of people involved in domestic violence and it is unfortunate that these other deaths are not as covered as this, “said Brent Blue.
He regretted that Teton County has become a “media circus.”
The body is still in a local morgue, Coroner Blue said, but arrangements are expected to begin for its release to the family.
Who was Gabby Petito?
Petito started a road trip with her fiancé last July from her hometown on Long Island, New York,
She and Laundrie had been documenting their “van life” for social media, showing the national parks they visited in the American West.
They had been traveling for several weeks when Laundrie suddenly returned home to Florida without his fiancée.
He did not contact the police or the Petito family upon his return. The Petito family reported him missing on September 11.
The couple is known to have had a few fights.
Two weeks before the young woman’s disappearance, on August 12, police in the city of Moab, in southern Utah, received a call about a possible incident of domestic violence involving the couple.
The police released images of a video recorded with a body camera of the agent who attended the incident. In it the young woman appears crying and acknowledging that they had been arguing more often.
The police officers who recorded the video recommended that they spend the night separately, but did not press charges.
Where’s Brian Laundrie?
So far Laundrie is the only person of interest to the authorities in this case.
The young man has been missing since September 14, when, according to his family, he went on an excursion and never returned.
Police and FBI teams are scouring the Book Carlton, a park in Sarasota County, Florida, that has about 100 square km.
The FBI issued a federal arrest warrant, accusing him of fraudulently using a debit card after Petito’s death.
He has not been charged with crimes related to Petito’s murder.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.