Brian Laundrie's family releases statement after news that Gabby Petito was strangled to death
Brian Laundrie's family, through the means of their attorney, released a new statement Tuesday immediately after the Wyoming coroner released his final autopsy, which determined Gabby Petito was strangled to death.
The attorney's statement marks the first time the family has confirmed Laundrie used Petito's debit card, for which he is wanted by the FBI for fraud.
RELATED: Gabby Petito autopsy: Cause of death strangulation, coroner says
"Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy. 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," the statement, released by attorney Steven Bertolino reads. "At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him."
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Petito, 22, died of strangulation and the manner of her death was homicide, according to a Wyoming coroner who shared new details from the final autopsy report of her death.
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue on Tuesday discussed the ruling on Petito’s final autopsy report, estimating that the 22-year-old died three to four weeks before her body was discovered on Sept. 19 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest along the border of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
"There will not be an exact date of death on the death certificate," Blue said. He later added: "Nothing is obvious in a situation like this."
Blue declined to say more about the autopsy, noting that Wyoming law limits what coroners can release. He added that the toxicology report is not public and he couldn’t comment on those results.
In preliminary findings, the coroner previously ruled the manner of her death a homicide but a specific cause of death had not been disclosed pending the final autopsy results.
Petito had been on a cross-country trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. She was first reported missing on Sept. 11 after Laundrie returned to their shared home in Florida in her van — without her.
Laundrie has not been charged in the death of Petito, but a federal arrest warrant was issued for him on charges relating to "unauthorized" use of a debit card in the days following her death.
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