After a Wyoming coroner confirmed that Ms Petito had been strangled and her body left in the wilderness for up to four weeks, Brian Laundrie’s attorney Steve Bertolino released a statement saying that his client remained just “a person of interest” in her killing.
“His words are garbage. Keep talking,” said Nichole Schmidt in a text message, according to WFAL’s J B Biunno
The war of words came after her death was ruled to be strangulation by Teton County Coroner Brent Blue at a press conference on Tuesday.
He described the death as a “domestic violence” case, but would not be drawn on who was responsible, saying that was for law enforcement to determine.
“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,” said Mr Bertolino.
“At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
The autopsy investigation included analysis by a forensic anthropologist, a full-body catscan, and samples were also given to a forensic entomologist.
Citing Wyoming state law, that only allows manner and cause of death to be released, Dr Blue also declined to say give any further details about injuries found on Ms Petito’s body, the condition her body was found in or whether toxicology tests had turned up any drugs in her system.
Dr Blue confirmed that Ms Petito was not pregnant and Ms Petito’s family were notified of the results before the press conference.
The details of her death came as authorities continued to search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who was travelling with her before she died.
Ms Petito’s body was found on September 19 in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, several weeks after Mr Laundrie returned to Florida in her van without her.
Ms Petito went missing while on a cross-country road trip with Mr Laundrie, who disappeared from his family’s home on 13 September and is the subject of a major manhunt that is still ongoing.