He said the time of Pettito’s death in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on September 19 was estimated to be about three to four weeks before his body was found.
The autopsy included a CT scan of the whole body, examinations by a forensic pathologist and a forensic anthropologist, and a toxicology analysis. “So it pretty much covered all the bases,” he said.
Blue declined to provide further details about his autopsy or the potential suspect, saying he was limited in information that could be released legally. Yet he referred to Petito’s case as “only one of many deaths across the country of people involved in domestic violence.”
Blue had previously ruled the manner of his death as a homicide in his preliminary findings, but the cause of death was pending further autopsy results, according to the FBI.
The announcement came nearly a month after Petito, 22, was reported missing in the wake of a road trip with fiancé Brian Laundry, 23, at a news conference.
Her parents first reported her missing on 11 September, and after an extensive search, her remains were found on 19 September.
Petito’s body was found 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from where his van was last seen in Wyoming, his mother Nicole Schmidt and stepfather Jim Schmidt said in an exclusive interview with Dr. Phil McGraw last week. Was.
Laundry has not been charged with Petito’s death, but he was charged with using two financial accounts that did not belong to him in the days following his death.
What We Know About Petito’s Last Days
Petito called his mother regularly, and those conversations revealed that there was “greater tension” in Petito’s relationship, according to a police affidavit with a search warrant for an external hard drive found in the couple’s van.
On August 27, a “strange text” from Petito worried his mother that something was wrong, according to a search warrant.
According to the affidavit, “Can you help Stan, I keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” According to the affidavit, Stan was a reference to Petito’s grandfather, to whom his mother said Petito never made such a reference.
The caller said, “We passed by and the gentleman was slapping the girl.” “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, jumped into the car and off they went.”
CNN obtained a dispatch audio recording from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office last month that sheds more light on what Moab police were told of “some sort of dispute.”
And on August 27, a witness described an “uproar” as they were leaving Mary Piglet’s Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming.
Witness Nina Angelou said Petito was in tears and the laundry was seen angrily going in and out of the restaurant several times, the hostess showing anger towards the staff around the stand. The couple’s waitress was also shaken by the incident, said Angelou, who told CNN she did not see any violence or physical altercation between Petito and the laundry.
A manager of Mary Piglets, who declined to be named, witnessed “an incident” at the restaurant and called the FBI, she told CNN. The manager declined to explain what happened and said the restaurant did not have surveillance video of the incident.
Investigators said Laundry’s parents told them on September 17 that he had left the house a few days earlier and was on his way to the nearby Carlton Reserve – a search of 25,000 acres of the nature reserve. Initially, his parents said he left on September 14, but last week, Laundry family attorney Steven Bertolino said, “We now believe that the day Brian took the preserve was Monday, September 13. ”
He didn’t take his cell phone and wallet with him when he left, and his parents were concerned he might hurt himself, a source close to Laundry’s family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
At the time, Laundry was not wanted in connection with a crime, but North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said there was “too much pressure” on Laundry to respond to Pettito’s disappearance.
The FBI searched Laundry’s home on September 20, removing several items and a Ford Mustang convertible.
Then attention turned to the Carlton Nature Preserve, where officials used drones, dive teams and bloodhounds to traverse a swampland full of snakes and alligators.
Bertolino said Laundry’s father has participated in a nature reserve search for him, but he has no plans to help police search and the couple will not take a polygraph test.
CNN’s Kari Pritcher, Jen Selva, Christina Maxouris and Amir Vera contributed to this report.