Gabby Petito’s cause of death characterized by ‘a lot of anger’ towards victim, says forensic pathologist

Gabby Petito died by “manual strangulation,” according to Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue, who had previously ruled her death a homicide

Board-certified anatomic and forensic pathologist, Priya Banerjee, described manual strangulation as “up close and personal, it’s a lot of anger and very targeted toward the victim.”

“You know, manual strangulation is done with the hands, or body part, for that matter. You don’t need anything outside of that,” said Banerjee.

Blue also revealed that he believes Petito died three to four weeks before search crews found her body on September 19 in a camping area near Jackson, Wyoming. Blue said, however, that under Wyoming state law he could not comment on any specifics in the autopsy report besides the cause and manner of death. 

Banerjee told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that it is notable that the coroner was able to discern Petito’s injuries, given the length of time Petito had already been dead. 

“I think it’s important to know that, first of all, they were able to tell that she still had significant internal injuries, despite having decomposed, the body is not in the normal state after three or four weeks, so that’s really critical,” said Banerjee.

The 22-year-old left on a cross country road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie in July. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida a month and a half ago without Gabby and is now wanted by the FBI for debit card fraud

Laundrie hasn’t been seen since Sept. 14, when he told his family he was going for a hike in Florida’s Carlton Preserve.

A national hotline is accepting tips for anyone to come forward with information on the Gabby Petito case: 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

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