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Instagram road-tripper Gabby Petito was strangled: US medical official

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Gabby Petito had quit her job and packed her life in a camper van for a cross-country adventure

Los Angeles:

The local coroner said Tuesday that Gabby Petito, the young woman who died on an Instagram-chronicle road trip across the United States with her boyfriend, was strangled and that her death was a homicide.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said the body of the 22-year-old lay in the woods of Wyoming for a month before being found in mid-September.

“We hereby find the cause and manner of death: the cause of death is by strangulation, and the manner is murder,” he said.

“Our initial determination is that the carcass was in the wild for three to four weeks.”

Petito had quit his job and packed his life into a camper van for a cross-country adventure with Brian Laundry, documenting his trip in July in a stream of social media posts.

They are all smiles in images shared online by the couple – barefoot in a canyon or surveying the ocher cliffs of state and national parks.

In a YouTube video published during their trip, Petito and Laundry are shown kissing tenderly, enjoying the sunset together and taking a stroll along a beach.

But after the 22-year-old’s mysterious disappearance, the woman’s family filed a missing report on September 11 and the laundry returned to Florida without her.

Laundry, 23, was declared a “person of interest” in the case. He refused to cooperate with the police before disappearing himself.

The FBI has launched a nationwide search, urging anyone with information about the laundry’s whereabouts to be contacted.

– domestic violence –

Details have emerged about how police in Utah responded to reports of domestic violence involving petito and laundry in August.

Police bodycam footage shows a distraught Petito saying he had an altercation with the laundry.

Her van is pulled over after she talks to an officer, with Petito crying and saying she struggles with mental health problems.

Petito said he slapped the laundry after an argument, but said he was not harmed.

The police officer decided that no charges would be filed, but ordered the couple to spend a night apart to calm down.

Petito’s death and subsequent disappearance of the prime suspect caused a storm of media coverage in the United States and around the world.

It also sparked a debate over the disproportionate attention given to missing white women.

Blue, the coroner said on Tuesday, had a “media circus” surrounding the case.

“Unfortunately, this is one of many deaths across the country of people involved in domestic violence,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that these other deaths do not get this kind of coverage,” he said.

“There are so many men and women who lose their lives and don’t get this kind of media attention.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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