Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue on Tuesday ruled that Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who vanished during a U.S. cross-country road trip with her fiancé, died as a result of strangulation.
Blue, whose office had already ruled Petito’s death a homicide, said she was killed about three to four weeks before her body was found on Sept. 19 along the border of Grand Teton National Park. Her fiancé Brian Laundrie, 23, has been named a ‘person of interest’ in the case and has been missing for nearly a month.
Laundrie returned without Petito on Sept. 1 to his family’s North Port, Fla. home driving her van. Ten days later, Petito’s mother reported her missing to police in New York.
The search has generated a media frenzy across much of the world, with thousands of social media users trying to hunt Laundrie down and pore over possible clues.
“It was quite the media circus and continues to be,” Blue told reporters.
“Unfortunately, this is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence.”
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