by Jonathan Anderson, Journalist
Authorities are still investigating the death of Gabby Petito, but it remains unclear why or what exactly law enforcement is focusing on at this stage of the case, WFLA-TV reports.
Petito captured the nation’s attention when the 22-year-old went missing in August while on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
On September 19, Petito’s remains were found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, prompting the FBI to open a homicide investigation.
Petito’s body had likely been outside for several weeks before it was found. A coroner’s report said she died by “manual strangulation/throttling,” which suggests that someone used their hands to strangle Petito, according to the television station.
Laundrie had returned to his parents’ house in North Port, Florida, and had refused to speak with investigators about what happened to Petito. His parents later reported him missing after they told police that he went for a hike but had not returned for several days. His remains were found October 15 at a wildlife preserve near his parents’ home.
Police have not provided any official updates in the case since November 23, when a Florida medical examiner publicly disclosed that Laundrie’s cause of death was suicide. Investigators believe he shot himself in the head.
The FBI has said the investigation into Petito’s homicide is still ongoing, and that anyone interested in updates should monitor the agency’s Tampa and Denver Twitter accounts.
WFLA-TV inquired with the FBI’s Denver office on December 31 but as of Saturday morning had not heard back, according to the television station.
The FBI generally does not release information about an ongoing investigation. It is unclear whether any charges will ever be filed in connection with the case.