Disturbing Details Found In Gabby Petito's Autopsy Report

The following article includes descriptions of domestic abuse and mention of suicide.

The tragic murder case of Gabby Petito finally came to a somber close at the top of 2022. After meeting with Petito's family in private at the Tampa Field Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Denver Division announced on January 21, 2022 that the agency had completed "all logical investigative steps." Michael Schneider, the FBI Denver Division special agent in charge, was adamant that following their thorough investigation, they did not identify any other suspects related to Petito's murder aside from Petito's late fiance, Brian Laundrie. "The FBI's primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family," he maintained. 

As you may recall, Laundrie's remains were found in Florida on October 20, 2021, one month and one day after Petito's own remains were recovered close to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Laundrie's manner of death was determined to be suicide. Sadly, Petito's cause of death proved to be downright disturbing. According to the FBI, The Teton County Coroner's Office found that Petito succumbed to "blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation."

Coroner assigned to Gabby Petito's case said she died by 'manual strangulation/throttling'

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue revealed in a press conference on October 12, 2021 that they had determined Gabby Petito's manner of death to be a homicide and that her cause of death was due to strangulation, specifically "manual strangulation/throttling," but provided no further specifics. "We believe this was strangling by a human being," Blue told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

However, one day later, on October 13, 2021, Blue further explained the office's findings. "Throttling generally means that it was done with human hands as opposed to an instrument," he told NewsNation. "It doesn't necessarily have to be, but manual strangulation basically means it was not done with equipment." According to Blue, he was able to determine the cause of death due to the "nature of the injuries around the neck." 

Blue also noted that because Petito's body had been left outside for probably a month, it did pose some challenges for the autopsy. "The situation where any body is out in the outside, whether it's exposed to the elements and insects and animals, there [are] various forms of decomposition," he explained.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Gabby Petito's loved ones are still reeling from the tragedy

As one can imagine, Gabby Petito's autopsy report proved to be especially disturbing to her beloved family and friends. "It makes me sick to my stomach," Petito's friend Alyssa Chen said during an interview with People in October 2021. "I wonder what was going through her mind, knowing she was probably about to die. She must have been so scared."

As for Petito's parents — her mother Nichole Schmidt, her father Joe Petito, as well as her stepmother Tara Petito, and her stepfather, Jim Schmidt — they have worked hard to channel their pain and anguish into something good, establishing the Gabby Petito Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to create awareness about domestic violence. "We have to prevent this from happening to other people," Nichole told People on June 5. "It keeps us strong. Gabby works through us. We can't not do it. We have to move forward and change the world together."