Gabby Petito homicide will be challenging to tie to perpetrator, says forensic pathologist

Banerjee joined “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday saying officials are likely not releasing the cause of death yet to avoid hindering the ongoing investigation. 

“The challenge was obviously for my colleagues to determine the cause of death, performed the autopsy, and my professional feeling is that they’re not going to release the cause of death yet with an ongoing investigation,” said Banerjee. 

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The autopsy revealed Petito died by homicide but did not specify how she was killed. 

“That’s very preliminary in my opinion, but it’s very important to release the manner of death, which, as you said, is homicide, because that tells us that she didn’t die of a natural death.”

“This was due to someone’s actions taking her life.”

Gabby Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming over the weekend, and an autopsy performed on Tuesday confirmed the human remains were in fact Petito. 

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“That is a challenge, tying the perpetrator to the crime, especially, I want to say, in the setting of decomposition, this was out in the wild, high-temperature fluctuation.,” said Banerjee, adding that it would not be surprising if Laundrie’s DNA were present since the two were in a relationship. 

“So that will be a challenge, I think, to tie it all together.”

Banerjee said it is important to consider all possibilities of how Gabby died to successfully determined how she was killed. 

“You have to really rule out asphyxia or strangulation to the neck, make sure there’s no blunt force trauma to the head or other parts of the body,” said Banerjee.

“So really a lot of potential ways that she could have been killed.”

“It’s not just one way,” she continued. “Sometimes a combination is you so really have to go and be casting a wide net and looking for those injuries.”

Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie, who is the only person of interest in the case, is currently missing as the investigation continues. 

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