United States

Petito choked to death by ‘human force’, autopsy shows

11:48, 13 October 2021
Petito choked to death by ‘human force’, autopsy shows Photo: imago stock&people/Global Look Press

Gabby Petito’s death came from strangulation by “human force,” the Wyoming coroner familiar with the data from the autopsy said on Tuesday.


Teton County Coroner Brent Blue revealed new details of the investigation regarding the blogger’s death when he appeared on CNN just some hours later as it became known that the victim was strangled.  

It is now embedded in the documents that her death was caused by “manual strangulation/throttling.”

“Throttling means that someone was strangled by human force,” Brent Blue said on Anderson Cooper 360. “There was no mechanical force involved.”

“People can be strangled by other means,” he said. “We have seen people on snowmobiles who run into a wire - that would be strangling by a mechanical event. But this was, we believe this was strangling by a human being.”

Further, the coroner explained how he got to know whether human force was involved in the crime.

“Mainly because only humans have opposable thumbs,” he said. There is no evidence that this was done by animal as fast as the cause of death.”

Petito had been dead for about three or four weeks, by the time her body was discovered in Bridger-Teton National forest on September 19, after an unceasing search mission of her. The disappearance of the girl headlined the vast number of national magazines. 

Although the cause of her death was earlier announced as homicide, it had been unknown until Tuesday the way she was murdered. Brent Blue said that he wouldn’t provide further details on Petito’s death within the Wyoming regulations.

The exact time of Petito’s death remains unclear as well as other details like whether she was buried or not, conditions of her body when it has been found.

When Brent was asked by Cooper about her death whether it was caused by domestic violence, the coroner replied that “that was strictly an assumption.”

Last time Petito was seen alive in late August while on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old Laundrie. But the trip was suddenly canceled and Laundrie returned home to Florida without Petito on September 1.

Laundrie refused to talk to the police when it became known that the destiny of Petito was unclear and she gained a “missing” status on September 11. As soon as it happened, Laundrie vanished.