THE WYOMING coroner who performed the autopsy on Gabby Petito admitted he was under pressure by a federal prosecutor in the homicide case to postpone releasing the details by over a week.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue admitted this week that he was pressed by a federal prosecutor to hold off “going public” with the autopsy results.
The autopsy report released Tuesday that confirmed Gabby died by "strangulation / throttling" was actually filed on October 5.
Dr Blue confirmed he intentionally waited in an interview with NewNationNow reported Brian Entin.
Entin explained that Blue acknowledged how he held off “on going public” because the US attorney asked that he please not release it publicly until [Tuesday.”
It’s unclear who specifically may have cautioned Blue to release the autopsy findings.
Brian is not currently considered a suspect in Gabby's murder but is just considered a “person of interest.”
On September 23, the FBI Denver Field Office issued an arrest warrant for Brian.
Two days later, a warrant was issued for Brian's arrest after investigators claimed he had "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
An indictment naming Brian from September 22 was signed off by Acting US Attorney L. Robert Murray.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Murray has held the post since January 31, days after former U.S. Attorney Mark A. Klaassen resigned, according to his online bio.
The FBI issued an arrest warrant, accusing Brian of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1 that was later confirmed by Bertolino to have belonged to Gabby.
A federal grand jury charged Brian with "knowingly with intent to defraud" using a Capital One debit card in the amount of at least $1,000.
The doctor appeared during a Tuesday press conference to share the findings in the case where he even mentioned that Gabby was strangled and left in the wilderness of Bridger-Teton National Forest for four weeks before her remains were found on September 19.
The manner of her death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death from the autopsy report had been withheld for weeks.
During the press conference, Dr Brent Blue described Gabby as a victim of domestic violence but refused to comment on whether her 23-year-old missing ex-fiancé Brian Laundrie is a suspect.
“Unfortunately, this is one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence," Dr Blue said.
A day after the press conference, Blue tried to give more specifics about the determination to be “strangulation/throttling” that killed Gabby.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be, but manual strangulation basically means it was not done with equipment,” he said as part of an interview with Entin.
Dr Blue added that when it comes to understanding the specific nature of strangulation, the harm to the neck is closely investigated.
“It’s determined by the nature of the injuries around the neck,” he said.
‘ELEMENTS, INSECTS AND ANIMALS’
On Wednesday, Dr Blue noted that a body lying outside for a lengthy period of time would is prone to decomposition.
“In a situation where any body that is outside whether it’s exposed to the elements and insects and animals – there’s various forms of decomposition,” he said during the interview with NewsNationNow.
“Decomposition usually runs its various course.”
There have been both DNA and toxicology tests that were performed on Gabby’s remains, however those details are not being released while the FBI pursues her killer.
During the press conference the doctor also confirmed that Gabby Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death, tamping down speculation that she may have been.
BRINGING GABBY HOME
Following the autopsy, the young woman's body was returned to the mortuary who are dealing with the family at this time, the doctor added.
“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise,” Bertolino wrote.
“At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
Federal and local Florida law enforcement have for more than four weeks been searching for Brian in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve based in Venice, Florida that is full of alligators, snakes and insects.
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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