Gabby Petito may have died from asphyxiation after reviewing bodycam video, says PI
A private investigator has suggested that Gabby Petito may have died from asphyxiation after he recently reviewed the bodycam footage captured by Utah police of her and fiancee Brian Laundrie.
The speculation comes ahead of a virtual press conference today in which the Teton County coroner is expected to reveal the 22-year-old woman’s cause of death.
Petito’s death has been ruled a homicide, but there have so-far been no other details released by officials about what factors lead to her death.
Brent Blue, the coroner, has called for the conference to be held at 12:30 p.m. MT today, where it is believed the cause of death will be released.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Salt Lake City-based investigator Jason Jenson said that he believes the cause could well be asphyxiation, based on Petito’s body language that was captured in August 12 bodycam footage from Moab, Utah.
A private investigator has suggested that Gabby Petito may have died from asphyxiation after after viewing bodycam footage (pictured) that was captured by Utah police of her and fiancee Brian Laundrie as they were traveling cross-country
Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’
Petito (pictured) was reported missing on September 11, ten days after boyfriend Brian Laundrie returned to Florida in their van without Petito and refused to answer her parents about what had happened to her
Speaking to police, Petito said that Laundrie grabbed her face during a domestic dispute between the pair.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s manual strangulation,’ Jenson – who said he had also visited the site where her remains were discovered – claimed.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s choked her before. Any victim that’s been choked before—their natural reaction is to lower their chin to their clavicle to prevent that hand from going around their throat.’
Blue determined that Petito was a victim of homicide, but did not share any cause of death.
At the end of September, Moab City Police Department announced an the launch of an independent investigation into their officers’ handling of a domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito, a month before she was found dead.
The City of Moab, Utah confirmed that they would ask an outside organization to conduct a formal investigation into how the police department responded to the incident on August 12.
Cops were filmed discussing what had happened with Petito and Laundrie after being called out by onlookers who reported seeing him hit her.
They found Laundrie with scratches to his face, with Petito claiming she’d hit him with a phone while battling her OCD.
Officers deemed her to be the ‘primary aggressor’ and separated the couple for the night to try and defuse the tension between them, but neither were arrested.
That has subsequently triggered allegations that investigating the incident more deeply might have saved Petito’s life, although others have countered by hailing the cops’ calm handling of the couple.
A stone cross marks a spot in northwest Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, Thursday, September 23, 2021, where the remains of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito were discovered on September 19. A private investigator has suggested that Gabby Petito may have died from asphyxiation after he recently visited the site where her remains here discovered
Salt Lake City-based private investigator Jason Jenson (pictured) said that he believes the cause of Gabby Petito’s death could well be asphyxiation after visiting the site where her remains were found
When she went missing, Petito was travelling cross-country in a ford transit with her fiance. Laundrie, 23, arrived home to North Port, Florida, on September in the van, but alone.
He is wanted by police on debit card fraud charges and is also considered a person of interest in relation to the homicide of Petito.
North Port police are working with the FBI to find Laundrie, who returned home from a cross-country trip with his fiancée Gabby Petito on September 1 without her.
North Port police are working with the FBI to find Laundrie, who returned home from a cross-country trip with his fiancée Gabby Petito on September 1 without her
The pair had been traveling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11
Laundrie, 23, was then reported missing himself on September 17, with his parents telling police he went to the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned.
Two days later, authorities found Petito’s body at a campsite near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide.
Investigators have chased down leads in multiple states since Laundrie went to ground three weeks ago but to date there has not been a confirmed sighting of the sole person of interest in 22-year-old Gabby’s homicide.
The FBI is currently investigating 11 alleged sightings of Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail close to the North Carolina-Tennessee border, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed Wednesday.
The police expressed doubts about Laundrie’s parents’ claims that he left their home and went to a nature preserve.
A North Port police officer said there is ‘a lot of oddness’ about Laundrie’s parents claims and admitted that part of their story ‘just didn’t make sense’.
On Sunday night, his parents used the cover of darkness to pick up their mail, remove empty white laundry baskets from their lawn and take down a tribute poster to Petito.
Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55, also removed a poster of Petito with the tagline ‘Remember me? Gabby Petito. Roberta and Chris, I once lived with you!’ from their lawn following a day of protests
In an interview with NewsNation reporter Brian Entin on Friday, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said there is ‘a lot of oddness’ about Laundrie’s parents claims and admitted that part of their story ‘just didn’t make sense’
During the interview, he questioned why Laundrie’s parents would say he went missing on a Monday but would not report him missing until Friday
Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s parents, last week changed the date they said their son went missing
Timeline of Gabby Petito case
July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
Aug. 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’
Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug. 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip
Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground; Witnesses say they saw a ‘commotion’ with the couple at Merry Piglets Tex-mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming – if accurate, this appears to be the last known sighting of Petito
Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
Sept. 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Laundrie’s parents claim on September 17 that Laundrie left his parents’ home for a hike and they hadn’t seen from him since
Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando
Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie
Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children
Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left
Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods
Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home
Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did
Oct. 2: A hiker along the Appalachian Trail claims to have seen Laundrie near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina
Oct. 3: Investigators searched the area on the Appalachian trail for any signs that Laundrie had been there
Oct. 4: Laundrie’s sister told protestors outside her home that her family has been ignoring her after they rebuked her story and that she does not know where her brother is
Oct 5: Laundrie’s sister appeared on Good Morning America to say she would turn her brother in if she knew where he is; The Laundrie attorney says his parents now ‘believe’ he went on the run one day earlier than they first claimed (September 13 not 14) meaning he had a four-day headstart before they reported him missing to authorities; The attorney also says Laundrie flew from Utah to Florida on Aug. 17 without Petito to clear out a storage unit then returned on Aug. 23; A hiker reports a sighting of a person he believed to be Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail near the Tennessee border
Oct 6: Petito’s parents and step-parents appear together on Dr. Phil to discuss their daughter’s death. Her family paints a vivid picture of the scene where her body was found and encourages Laundrie to turn himself in
Oct. 7: Laundrie’s father Christopher joins FBI agents on the search for his son at the Carlton Reserve; Investigators find a ‘fresh campsite’ in the nature reserve
Video footage obtained exclusively by Fox News showed Christopher and Roberta Laundrie emerging from their Florida home on Sunday night to quickly clear their lawn and take a package from their mailbox.
The couple were seen picking up around 15 white plastic laundry baskets from their lawn after they were left there in protest.
It appears to be a symbolic reference to protesters wanting the Laundrie family to air their dirty laundry and come clean with what they know about the case.
Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55, also removed a poster of Petito with the tagline ‘Remember me? Gabby Petito. Roberta and Chris, I once lived with you!’ from their lawn following a day of protests.
On Friday, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor expressed doubts about Laundrie’s claims he left his parents home and went to a nature preserve, as the search for Laundrie continues.
In an interview with NewsNation reporter Brian Entin on Friday, Taylor said there is ‘a lot of oddness’ about Laundrie’s parents claims and admitted that part of their story ‘just didn’t make sense.’
In the interview on Friday, Entin asks Taylor how the police lost track of Laundrie as authorities throughout the country searched for Petito.
‘I was here when the police chief had the press conference and said “We have our eyes on Brian Laundrie, we know where he is, and we’re not going to tell the media, but we know where he is,”‘ Entin began.
‘And then I think it was the next day that I think he was missing. I mean how did that happen?’
‘I think you have a situation where you’re working on the best that you have – and I think what I can tell you is that… we weren’t lying, we weren’t trying to say something to anybody, we were holding a press conference to be transparent about what was going on,’ Taylor replied.
‘I mean what would be in our benefit to say it if it weren’t true,’ he said, noting ‘no investigation’s perfect.’
‘We were doing everything within the law that we could with the facts and the circumstances at that time,’ Taylor added.
At that point, Entin asked if Taylor has ‘any idea how he got away,’ to which Taylor replied: ‘That is something we’re working to figure out.’
‘I think certainly what the family has told us is that he drove out to the park and walked out into the woods,’ Taylor said. ‘I think that is certainly on the table.’
But then Entin asked if there is any reason not to believe Laundrie’s parents, to which Taylor said: ‘At this point, everything that I’ve learned and we figured out – I don’t know what to believe anymore.
‘I think it’s certainly possible that they’re expressing what they know, but we’ll see.
‘I mean this is an ongoing investigation that will continue to evolve, and you know, I think you saw … that the family was out there helping in the search.
‘I think, you know, it’s a sign of them trying to work with investigators, so I hope that is the beginning of maybe more they know.’
Entin then pushed Taylor for more information, pointing out that his parents reportedly brought his Ford Mustang back from the 25,000-acre reserve.
‘It doesn’t make sense in some ways,’ Entin said.
‘I agree with that,’ Taylor said, bluntly. ‘I mean we’ve said since the beginning there was a lot of oddness here, a lot of things that didn’t make sense.
‘I mean if your son walks out there, now they’re saying on a Monday, to report that on a Friday and then to be confused on what day that was – there are a lot of things that are odd there.’
Entin also asked if he thinks Brian Laundrie is still alive.
‘It’s possible,’ Taylor said. ‘I think it would not surprise me if he is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s not.
‘I mean I guess if we had to put odds on it, I’d say that it’s probably pretty close,’ he said, adding: ‘We’ve gotten into an issue by thinking one thing, and I don’t think it does any good to say I think he’s alive or dead.
‘I think it’s certainly possible one way or the other,’ he said.
But some survivalists have questioned Laundrie’s ability to survive in a nature preserve for over three weeks, as dozens of officers from the FBI, North Port Police Department, Florida Wildlife Commission, several sheriff’s offices and K9 search and rescue teams scour the area for him.
Last month, the North Port police said in a statement: ‘The Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times. It’s currently [waist] deep in water in many areas.
‘This is dangerous work for the search crews, and they are wading through gator and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.’
The area also features water moccasin snakes, hogs, bears and alligators, with panther sightings reported in the past.
Robert Urban, founder and chief instructor at the Urban Survival Academy, said it is unlikely someone who is not professionally trained in survival skills would be able to survive in that environment.
‘Florida’s climate is very, very difficult,’ he told CNN. ‘I’m an expert with plenty of experience, and it would be everything that I could do to survive [more] than three weeks.
‘Someone with no experience, you cannot be lucky and survive in that sort of environment.’
He added that Laundrie would likely not be operating in the best mindset to avoid these creatures due to the anxiety of trying to evade authorities and survive.
‘When you’re tired, you’re not as defensive, you’re not as vigilant as you should be,’ he said, with Jason Marsteiner, founder and president of The Survival University adding: ‘Twenty-five days in that area is extremely tough.
‘I wouldn’t want to do it and I’ve got jungle training, I’ve got mountain training.’
It may be possible, though, if he had ways to disinfect the water, gather food, cook and protect himself from the weather, Dave Canterbury told Erin Burnett on Thursday but he would likely need fire to do so.
But Taylor said authorities have found no evidence of campsites, as well as no evidence of a body.
Petito’s family revealed last week that her body was found in a fairly isolated area, just ‘a five minute walk’ from where authorities found her and Brian Laundrie’s van.
In an emotional interview with Dr Phil, on Wednesday, Petito’s stepfather said: ‘Her body was found — I guess it would be in front of a tent, if that’s what was there — or just in front of the fire ring… there was definitely a fire ring there.’
Laundrie, 23, was reported missing on September 17, with his parents telling police he went to the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned
He returned to his North Port, Florida home from a cross-country trip with his fiancée Gabby Petito, left, on September 1 without her
Petito’s body was discovered at a campsite near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide two days after he went missing
‘It wasn’t far from the van. It was a five minute walk,’ Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt echoed.
Jim, who visited the location on the outskirts of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where Petito’s body was found, painted a vivid picture of the isolated area. ‘You would have to want to go out over into that area,’ he said.
Jim said his stepdaughter’s remains were found in an area of dispersed campgrounds on the borderline of Bridger-Teton National Forest, about 40 feet away from where Grand Teton National Park begins.
He explained in order to get to that area, campers would have to cross over the creek bed that separated the campgrounds from the area where police found Petito and Laundrie’s van.
‘So you have to cross over this creek bed, this rock area, and go through these tributaries and once you get on the other side it’s just some trees sparsely placed throughout and a lot sage brush, a lot of low brush,’ he shared.
‘It was in an area where there was a few trees and there was the remnants of a fire ring there…There was a clearing where I would assume – knowing I have a similar tent, where I would place my tent – and that opening would face out overlooking the mountain range.’
Jim left a stone cross and flowers in the exact location where she was found.