Gabby Petito died from strangulation, a medical examiner revealed on Tuesday during a press conference.
It was also revealed that the 22-year-old died 3 to 4 weeks before her body was found in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming following a nationwide search. But no further details have been released.
Her family reported her disappearance after her boyfriend Brian Laundrie returned to their home in Florida in the middle of their cross-country road trip. Laundrie has still not been located.
Her death had been ruled a homicide following the initial autopsy results which were released on September 21.
The Laundrie family attorney issued a statement following the announcement, “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.”
Gabby was laid to rest in a funeral on September 26 near her hometown of Holbrook, NY, her father, Joe Petito, gave an emotional eulogy in honor of his late daughter.
“So when you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table,” he told attendees. “The entire planet knows this woman’s name now. And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first. Put yourself first and do it now while you have the time. I couldn’t be more proud as a father.”
Her stepfather, Joe Schmidt, also spoke at the services about Gabby’s arm tattoo, “Let It Be,” after The Beatles song. He began his eulogy by reading a lyric from the song which spoke to him, “When the broken-hearted people living in the world agree there will be an answer, let it be.”
He continued, “It’s okay to mourn for Gabby, and it’s okay to feel sorrow and pain. But we want to celebrate her and how she lived her life,” Schmidt said after reading the lyric. “We need to hold on to all of those wonderful memories we shared with her, because that will be the answer. Let it be.”
Gabby’s mother, Nicole Schmidt also shared some heartfelt sentiments about her late daughter on Facebook ahead of the funeral along with a memorial video.
“As I scroll through all the posts, my heart is full of love. I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you!!! Your support has been so overwhelming and we are so filled with gratitude,” she wrote.
“Please know what you are all doing for us does not go unnoticed,” she added, “and with all of you by our side, we will get #justiceforgabby 🦋💙🌈.”
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on September 22nd by The U.S. District Court of Wyoming, FBI Denver.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide. We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement.
Laundrie is being accused of fraudulently using a Capital One Bank debit card, according to the indictment shared by the FBI.
His attorney issued a statement about the arrest warrant to NBC News on Thursday, “It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise. The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum.”
Laundrie is currently missing. The North Port Police Department has been conducting searches in a 25,000-acre wildlife refuge where they believe he might be located, according to NBC News.
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