BRIAN Laundrie's actions in private have been called into question by a forensic expert after Gabby Petito's fiancé reportedly hit her in the street during an argument.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Joseph Scott Morgan, an Associate Professor of Applied Forensics with Jacksonville State University, said that it potentially showed how "bold" Laundrie could be.
He was referencing the 911 call from Moab, Utah, on August 12 in which a witness claimed to have seen 23-year-old Laundrie hit Gabby, 22.
Gabby told cops responding to the call that Laundrie grabbed her face when trying to get her to be quiet.
Officers decided that Gabby was the "aggressor" after she said she hit Laundrie first in the argument.
The couple was ordered to separate for the night but no charges were brought against either of them.
Gabby was last seen alive two weeks later apologizing to wait staff in a Wyoming restaurant for Laundrie's anger.
"If a grown man would be allegedly, per the 911 call, willing to slap a 95-pound young lady in the middle of the street," Morgan, host of the podcast Body Bags speculated.
"If that story is true, that's rather bold, don't you think?
"And so for me, I think, 'well, if you're so bold to do that public, what might you be willing to do in private?'"
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It comes after the Teton County Coroner's Office on Tuesday revealed that Gabby died by manual strangulation or throttling.
No further details about the condition Gabby's remains were found in were revealed.
Dr Brent Blue also refused to speculate on a suspect or Brian Laundrie.
However, he did note that it is a "shame" other "domestic violence" cases do not get the same attention.
The FBI, who is leading the case, has not officially linked Gabby's death to domestic violence.
Laundrie is currently a person of interest.
Yet the FBI issued a warrant for his arrest on September 24 for misuse of a bank card that was later revealed to be Gabby's.
He reportedly used the card between August 30 and September 1.
Laundrie arrived home to his parents' house in Florida on September 1 in Gabby's van.
The Laundrie family refused to answer questions about where Gabby was as the Petito family became concerned they had not heard from her since August 27.
She was reported missing on September 11 and Laundrie was last seen two days later.
Gabby's family had initially believed Laundrie was also missing until cops informed them her van was back in Florida.
They are traveling to Wyoming on Wednesday to collect her remains.
It comes as Morgan warns that the decomposition of Gabby's body could make it difficult to prosecute using autopsy evidence if the case goes to trial.
Dr Blue had said her body was outdoors for up to a month before it was found but would not comment on any decomposition.
“If this thing were to ever go to trial, this case were to ever go to trial, that's a mark against the prosecution and a mark for the defense,” Morgan explained.
GOING TO TRIAL
It comes as the state of decay causes difficulties for the coroner in deciding if something could potentially be an injury suffered by Gabby as she was killed.
Morgan told The Sun that the coroner would potentially take into account the body cam video from August 12.
He said that while it would be "difficult" to identify earlier bruising if Gabby's remains were decomposed, it wasn't out of the question.
"You have to take care in what you're doing and be very exact," he said.
“Our body has a fantastic way of healing, but you can have overlying or overlapping injuries, where it'll be at a different point in time in the healing process.
“You have some evidence, at least admittedly on the Moab tape, that they've been quarreling.
“So, for me, I'm going to say: ‘Well, I'm going to dig a little bit deeper.’
“The trick of all of this is to try to differentiate, and it can be difficult to differentiate between pre-existing injury and the compositional artifact," Morgan continued.
“Is the muscle in such a state of decay that you would not be able to pick up on that?”
“This is a scary case,” Morgan said of watching the bodycam footage.
“I have a daughter that was her age and you just want to reach through the screen and go back in time and say, 'come with me. It's going to be okay. I'm going to protect you.'”
The FBI continues to search for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve, where his parents claim he last went for a hike, after Dog the Bounty Hunter mounted a search in Fort De Soto Park.
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