Gabby Petito's mom slams 'garbage' statement from Brian Laundrie's attorney after autopsy finds daughter was strangled
12th October 2021

GABBY Petito's mom has slammed the "garbage" statement from Brian Laundrie's attorney after an autopsy found her daughter was strangled.

The 22-year-old vlogger's remains were discovered at a campsite near Grand Teton National Park on September 19.



Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed that Gabby Petito died by strangulation during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Following the results of the autopsy, Brian Laundrie's family attorney, Steve Bertolino, released a statement saying: "Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy.

"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."

However, Gabby's mom, Nicole Schmidt, slammed the comment, fuming: "His words are garbage. Keep talking."

Dr Blue added that Gabby's predicted death was three to four weeks before her body was found. The body was outside "in the wilderness" for this time.

The doctor also confirmed that Gabby Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death and that a toxicology report was unable to be released at this time.

Following the autopsy, the young woman's body was returned to the mortuary who are dealing with the family at this time, the doctor added.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Dr Blue declined to say more about the autopsy or the case overall, saying he was prevented by Wyoming law that limits what coroners can release.

Shortly before the press conference, a private investigator claimed that Gabby may have been strangled to death based on her body language in police bodycam footage.

Jason Jensen, a Salt Lake City-based investigator, believes the vlogger’s cause of death could be asphyxiation.

He referred to Gabby’s body language while she was being quizzed by cops in Moab, Utah on August 12.

SHOCKING BODYCAM FOOTAGE

In an interview with Fox News, Jensen claimed: "I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s manual strangulation.

"Any victim that’s been choked before – their natural reaction is to lower their chin to their clavicle to prevent that hand from going around their throat."

Harrowing bodycam footage, first released last month, shows a tearful Gabby recalling a clash that she and Brian Laundrie had outside the Moonflower Cafe. 

She said that their morning had been "stressful" and explained to cops that she had been apologizing to her fiancé for her OCD.

Gabby alleged that Laundrie had grabbed her face, left a “burning” gash on her cheek and red marks on her arm as cops notice some bruises.

She told cops: "Well, he like grabbed me, like, with his nail, and I guess that's why it hurts. I definitely have a cut. Like, I can feel it."

Gabby alleged that Laundrie had told her to shut up as she appeared to admit that she hit him first.

While the vlogger appeared distressed, her fiancé seemed calm throughout as he told cops his story.

He told the police: "She (Gabby) gets really worked up, and when she does she swings and she had her cell phone in her hand. So I was just trying to push her away." 

'HE GRABBED ME'

Laundrie claimed that Gabby had attacked him, alleging that she scratched his face and arm.

He said: "She had her phone and was trying to get the keys from me. So, I was backing away – I know I shouldn’t have pushed her but I was just trying to push her away to go ‘Let’s take a minute. Step back and breathe.”

It wasn't clear if Tuesday's determination might lead to additional charges against Brian Laundrie, who is considered a person of interest in her disappearance and remains unaccounted for.

Brian and Gabby, who met in New York before moving to Florida two years ago, were around two months into their planned four-month cross-country road trip touring the US’ national parks before Gabby vanished sometime around August 27.

'WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD'

Brian quietly returned home to Florida alone on September 1, failing to alert police or Gabby’s family that she was missing.

He reportedly acted "without a care in the world" upon his return, neighbors said, mowing the front yard and enjoying idyllic bike rides with his mom.

Gabby was eventually reported missing by her mother in New York on September 11. That came after 10 days of allegedly being stonewalled by Brian and his parents about where her daughter was, she said.

Then, on September 14, Brian allegedly vanished after telling his parents he was going hiking at Carlton Reserve.

But they didn’t report Brian missing until three days later.

FOUR WEEK SEARCH

A four-week search for Laundrie has so far yielded no leads beyond speculation and a handful of potential sightings.

Laundrie is not currently considered a suspect in Gabby's murder but is considered a person of interest.

He does, however, have a warrant out for his arrest on bank fraud allegations after allegedly racking up $1,000 in charges on a debit card that's believed to have belonged to Gabby.

Law enforcement is still searching Carlton Reserve for traces of Laundrie, while TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter was on hand scouring Fort De Soto.




Gabby Petito timeline

Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:

  • June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
  • July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
  • July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
  • July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
  • August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
  • August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
  • August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
  • August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
  • August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
  • August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
  • September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
  • September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
  • September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
  • September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
  • September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
  • September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
  • September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
  • September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
  • September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
  • September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
  • September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
  • September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
  • September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
  • September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
  • September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
  • September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
  • October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.

 

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