On Tuesday, October 12, the Teton County Coroner’s Office in Wyoming held a press conference, announcing the cause of death of the 22-year-old woman was “death by strangulation and manner of death is death by homicide.”
“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” attorney Steven Bertolino stated via text following the press conference. “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. At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the fraud charge pending against him.”
The grieving mother was not impressed by the comments made by Bertolino, whom the Laundrie family retained when their son, 23, returned home from a cross-country road trip without his fiancée.
“His words are garbage,” Schmidt wrote in a text to WFLA. “Keep talking.”
In July, Petito and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip, stopping at national parks and documenting their “van life” on social media. However, on September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida — where he and Petito also lived — alone.
The Long Island native was reported missing by her parents on September 11. Sadly, her remains were found eight days later near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, where she was last seen alive. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue revealed during the press conference that it is believed her body had been outside for three to four weeks.
As for the missing man, Laundrie’s parents reported that they had last seen their son when he went hiking on Tuesday, September 14. However, On October 6, Bertolino texted WFLA stating that the Laundries believe their son actually left on September 13. They did not report Laundrie missing until September 17.
“The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” Bertolino told the news outlet. “Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13.”
The search for Laundrie is ongoing. As of Tuesday, October 13, Laundrie remains a person of interest, but no suspect has been named in Petito’s homicide.