Gabby Petito‘s body has been released by the Wyoming coroner to a local mortuary for cremation, a day after officials announced that the van-life blogger had been strangled to death.
Her father Joseph Petito traveled to Wyoming on Wednesday to collect her ashes and bring them home to New York, Fox reported.
Brian Laundrie, 23, is still the only named person of interest in Petito’s death, which was ruled as homicide by strangulation yesterday.
Laundrie himself vanished on September 17, almost three weeks after returning home to Florida without his girlfriend.
The Teton County Coroner’s Office has released DNA to the police, according to WPBF 25.
And the suspect could already have been named behind closed doors, a former FBI agent told the network.
‘That piece of information, I would bet, has gone into grand jury – there is now a sealed indictment for the apprehension for the person who is responsible for the death of Gabby Petito.
‘This can of course include him [Brian Laundrie] as being the attacker or responsible person for causing Gabby Petito’s death or it could exclude him,’ former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan told WPBF 25.
Gabby Petito’s father Joseph (right) is reportedly in Wyoming collecting the ashes of his daughter (left) after the Teton County Coroner’s Office released her body to a local mortuary
He believes it is unlikely the suspect’s name will be released until after an arrest is made.
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue released Petito’s cause of death as strangulation, but could not release any more information due to Wyoming law.
Petito’s body was discovered in a campsite close to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 – eight days after her family reported her missing, and 22 days after the last reported sighting of her alive on August 27.
The coroner refused to reveal several details about the autopsy’s findings including: the condition of Petito’s body, if her body was buried, whether any drugs were found in her system and whether she was killed in the same spot her body was found.
He did confirm that Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death – after internet sleuths circulated that theory online in recent days. Blue added that DNA samples had been taken by law enforcement as the investigation into her murder and who was responsible continues.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg said Laundrie’s DNA might not appear on the samples found on Petito’s body due to the time her body spent exposed to the elements, but other evidence like cell phone records could still be used against him, according to WPFB’s Carbonare.
Her body was found three to four weeks after her death, the coroner said.
Laundrie’s family, however, have been refusing to answer questions and are still citing the Reserve as the last place Brian was seen.
Brian Laundrie’s father refused to answer questions as he mowed his lawn around a makeshift memorial for his fugitive son’s late fiancée Wednesday morning – 19 hours after a coroner announced Gabby Petito cause of death.
Joseph (second to left) will bring her ashes back to Long Island, New York
Brian Laundrie is still the only named person-of-interest in the case. A former FBI agent told WPBF 25 that likely a suspect has already been named behind closed doors after the Coroner’s Office sent DNA to the police. ‘This can of course include him [Brian Laundrie] as being the attacker or responsible person for causing Gabby Petito’s death or it could exclude him,’ Stuart Kaplan said
In a video posted to Twitter the morning after the coroner’s announcement, Chris Laundrie, 62, was recorded with a grass cutter trimming blades close to the memorial for Petito set up in his front lawn while being questioned by a reporter.
During Wednesday’s gardening task, Chris Laundrie avoided caution tape, bouquets of flowers and photos of 22-year-old Petito while ignoring questions asked by a man off camera.
‘Is there anything you want to say?’ he asked. Chris didn’t reply.
‘Is there anything you want people to know? You and Roberta haven’t said anything,’ he added, which Chris also completely ignored.
Brian Laundrie’s father Chris, 62, was filmed trimming the grass around a makeshift memorial for his fugitive son’s late fiancée Wednesday morning – 19 hours after the coroner announced Gabby Petito was strangled
Supposed protestors gathered outside the Laundrie’s North Port, Florida, home and asked Chris: ‘Is there anything you want people to know? You and Roberta haven’t said anything,’ to which he completely ignored
Chris was seen avoiding the caution tape, bouquets of flowers and pictures of Petito as he cut the grass
The video was filmed just 19 hours after the coroner ruled that Petito was strangled to death and exactly one month since Laundrie went on the run
Supposed protesters were also at the Laundrie residence in North Port last night attempting to confront Chris and his wife Roberta as they banged on the door and demanded that the couple ‘speak up soon.’
The clip of Chris Laundrie emerged as Petito’s grieving parents made their way to Wyoming to recover her remains, three weeks after her body was found near Grand Teton National Park.
The Teton County coroner announced just yesterday that she died of manual strangulation. Petito’s parents are expecting to return home to Long Island, New York, this weekend with her ashes, according to Fox.
Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue released the cause of the 22-year-old van-life vlogger’s death in a videoconference press briefing (above) Tuesday afternoon
Petito’s family is headed to Wyoming to reunite with her. They are set to return home to Long Island, New York, this weekend with Petito’s ashes. Pictured L-R: stepmother Tara Petito, father Joe Petito, mother Nicole Schmidt, family attorney, stepfather Jim Schmidt
Hours after Petito’s cause of death was announced, a man was filmed outside their Florida home shouting: ‘Come on dirty Laundries. Come on, you guys like to strangle people.
You and your little b**** a** son. It’s time to wake up and face the consequences.’
The Laundries haven’t been arrested or accused of any crime.
After the protesters left Chris stepped into view of nearby camera lenses twice, including on one occasion when he appeared to lock the door, Fox reported.
Police arrived at the home minutes later after a car passed the house honking its horn for several seconds.
Laundrie has been on the run for exactly one month. His parents allege he was last seen on September 13.
On September 1 he returned home early from the cross-country road trip he was on with Petito in the white camper van.
Last week Chris joined FBI agents in the search for his son at in the vast 24,565-acre Carlton Reserve where there a supposed ‘fresh campsite’ was found.
But the discovery was denied by investigators and the joint search proved fruitless.
On October 6 Chris joined FBI agents in their search for his son at the Carlton Reserve where he and police believed his son was located. The search was fruitless
The Laundrie family did not join the FBI in the manhunt in any of their searches after the search with the fugitive’s father came up short on October 7.
North Port Police in Florida revealed the next day that the sole person of interest in Petito’s homicide had been placed under surveillance in the days before he went on the run.
Police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN Laundrie was being closely watched by authorities to the best of their abilities, at a time when Petito was still classed as missing and not dead and when a warrant had not yet been issued for Laundrie’s arrest.
Taylor provided no further details about the extent of this surveillance or how Laundrie was then able to slip through the net.
It is not clear if investigators ever had proof of his presence at the Laundrie family home in North Port, from when Petito was reported missing on September 11 to when his family revealed Laundrie had vanished on September 17.
Investigators have confirmed they never spoke to, or saw, Laundrie that day as his family lawyered-up and denied police entry to their home to speak with him. Instead, the timeline of his disappearance appears to largely rest on accounts given by Laundrie’s parents Christopher and Roberta – accounts that have changed this week.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie allege that their son (Laundrie pictured left with Petito) was last seen on September 13
Petito was reported missing on September 11 and her body was found on September 19
Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt left a stone cross and flowers in the exact location where she was found (pictured)
Timeline of Gabby Petito case
July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
Aug 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
Aug 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’
Aug 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip
Aug 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
Aug 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
Aug 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
Aug 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30pm at the Spread Creek Campground; Witnesses say they saw a ‘commotion’ with the couple at Merry Piglets Tex-mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming – if accurate, this appears to be the last known sighting of Petito
Aug 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
Aug 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
Sept 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
Sept 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
Sept 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
Sept 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
Sept 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
Sept 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Laundrie’s parents claim on September 17 that Laundrie left his parents’ home for a hike this day and they hadn’t seen from him since
Sept 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
Sept 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
Sept 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
Sept 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
Sept 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under investigation
Sept 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
Sept 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
Sept 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on August 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando
Sept 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie
Sept 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children
Sept 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left
Sept 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son September 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods
Sept 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home
Oct 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did
Oct 2: A hiker along the Appalachian Trail claims to have seen Laundrie near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina
Oct 3: Investigators searched the area on the Appalachian trail for any signs that Laundrie had been there
Oct 4: Laundrie’s sister told protestors outside her home that her family has been ignoring her after they rebuked her story and that she does not know where her brother is
Oct 5: Laundrie’s sister appeared on Good Morning America to say she would turn her brother in if she knew where he is; The Laundrie attorney says his parents now ‘believe’ he went on the run one day earlier than they first claimed (September 13 not 14) meaning he had a four-day headstart before they reported him missing to authorities; The attorney also says Laundrie flew from Utah to Florida on August 17 without Petito to clear out a storage unit then returned on August 23; A hiker reports a sighting of a person he believed to be Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail near the Tennessee border
Oct 6: Petito’s parents and step-parents appear together on Dr. Phil to discuss their daughter’s death. Her family paints a vivid picture of the scene where her body was found and encourages Laundrie to turn himself in; The Laundrie family lawyer says his father Christopher went to look for him on the night of Sept. 13 when he didn’t return from the park
Oct 7: Laundrie’s father Christopher joins FBI agents on the search for his son at the Carlton Reserve but the search brings up no clues; FBI says it is also investigating 11 alleged sightings of Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail near the North Carolina-Tennessee border; investigators confirmed neither Petito or Laundrie’s phones were found in the couple’s campervan
Oct 8: North Port Police spokesperson says there is a ‘lot of oddness’ with Laundrie’s parents handling of the situation and that ‘a lot of things that didn’t make sense’ about their version of events
Oct 12: Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue announces autopsy findings which show Petito died by strangulation; No specific date of death was given – only that she was dead 3-4 weeks before her body was found