Why Gabby Petito's case is so popular – Coroner explains why it has been a 'media circus' and rocked US

THE coroner who revealed that Gabby Petito was strangled to death also described the vlogger's high-profile murder case as a "media circus."

Dr. Brent Blue from Teton County coroner's office appeared frustrated when he was asked about the challenges of doing his job in the glare of the media spotlight during a press conference on Tuesday.


“Well, it was quite the media circus and continues to be,” Blue said.

"Unfortunately, this is one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence.

"And it's unfortunate that these other deaths do not get as much coverage as this one."

Petito died of strangulation and her autopsy suggests her death occurred three to four weeks before her remains were found in Wyoming on September 19, putting her time of death sometime after August 25.

As per Wyoming law, Blue refused to release any more information from the full autopsy on Gabby's remains apart from her manner and cause of death.

However, Blue did point to the disparity in coverage between Gabby's case and other domestic violence cases.

"I'm assuming that because the deceased was a blogger, that this received more coverage than others," he added.

"But there are a lot of both men and women who have lost their lives that aren’t covered with this kind of media attention."

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

The remark from the coroner was unexpected.

The FBI, who is leading the case, has not officially linked Gabby's death to domestic violence.

No suspect has been named but Brian Laundrie is the sole person of interest in the case.

Dr Blue had initially said that he could not reveal more on the autopsy's finding or the toxicology report.

He also said he could not comment on investigative matters as that falls under the FBI's remit, not the coroner's.

However, Dr Blue did confirm that cops had taken DNA samples from Gabby's remains.

"He shouldn’t be concluding that," former Miami-Dade homicide detective Pat Diaz told Fox News on Tuesday of the domestic violence remark.

"That’s just an assumption on his part."

BODY CAM FOOTAGE

The speculation about domestic violence comes after body cam footage revealed a physical argument between Gabby and her fiancé two weeks before her death.

Police in Moab, Utah, received a 911 call that reported seeing Laundrie hit Gabby in the street.

She sobbed as she told officers that Laundrie grabbed her face to try to make her be quiet.

However, cops deemed her the "aggressor" after she admitted she hit Laundrie first and there were no charges pressed.

The vlogger was last seen alive on August 27 as she reportedly apologized to staff in a Wyoming restaurant for Laundrie's anger.

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

GABBY NOT PREGNANT

Dr Blue confirmed on Tuesday that Gabby was not pregnant when she was killed.

He added Gabby's predicted death was three to four weeks before her body was found.

The body was outside "in the wilderness" for this time, he said.

It is unclear if she was killed where her remains were found.

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

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.

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 13, Brian allegedly vanished after telling his parents he was going hiking at Carlton Reserve.

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

Gabby's family is reportedly traveling to Wyoming to collect her remains on Wednesday.

The FBI is hunting Laundrie after issuing an arrest warrant for misusing a bank card that was later revealed to be Gabby's.




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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