Coroner expected to release autopsy for body believed to be Gabby Petito

·2 min read

Update: The FBI in Denver said the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby Petito. Her death has initially been ruled a homicide.

A coroner in Wyoming is expected to release preliminary results of an autopsy for a body believed to be Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who was reported missing after her fiancé returned home from a cross-country road trip without her.

Brent Blue, the Teton County Coroner, told CBS News the autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Blue said autopsies usually take one to two hours, but if microscopic data is needed, it may take longer and it is unlikely to be fully completed today.

When the autopsy is completed, the FBI's field office in Denver will release any findings, Blue said.

A body discovered near Grand Teton National Park was "consistent with the description" of Petito, officials said Sunday. The body has not been officially identified, and the cause of death has not been confirmed.

Attorney Richard Benson Stafford, who represents Petito's family, issued a statement Tuesday: "I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve. We will be making a statement when Gabby is home."

Investigators are still searching for Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in Florida's Carlton Reserve on Tuesday, a week after his family said they last saw him. Law enforcement searched his home for eight hours on Monday, questioning his parents and collecting evidence that could tell them what happened to Petito.

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito / Credit: North Port Police Department
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito / Credit: North Port Police Department

While the couple was traveling in Moab, Utah, police responded to a report of a "domestic dispute" on August 12. After speaking with the couple, officers classified it as a "mental health break."

In a police report, one officer wrote that Petito, Laundrie and a witness all said Petito slapped Laundrie after an argument, and Laundrie then "grabbed her face and pushed her back." The officer said neither Petito nor Laundrie wanted to press charges.

Petito's last known contact with family was in late August while she was in Grand Teton National Park, authorities said. She was reported missing on September 11 — 10 days after Laundrie returned home from the trip without her.

"(The) first word that popped in my brain was 'coward,' to be honest with you," Petito's friend, Rose Davis, told CBS News. "You're supposed to love her. You're supposed to marry her. I want to text him and just be like, 'Please, please give me something.'"

"48 Hours" goes inside the disappearance of Gabby Petito and the hunt for Brian Laundrie Saturday at 10/9c on CBS and Paramount+.

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