Gabby Petito: Grieving parents head to Wyoming to be reunited with daughter's body
NORTH PORT, Fla. - The grieving parents of Gabby Petito are heading to Wyoming, where their daughter was found, to recover her remains just one day after a Teton County coroner announced she died of manual strangulation.
The Schmidt and Petito families were on their way to Wyoming on Wednesday morning to be reunited with their daughter’s remains, just over three weeks after her body was discovered near Grand Teton National Park, Fox News has learned. The parents are planning to return this weekend with her ashes.
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During their trip, the parents will also meet with law enforcement investigating Petito’s death for an update on the case.
The family has said they do not plan to provide any statements to the media until they have brought Petito home to New York.
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On Tuesday, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced Petito died of "manual strangulation/throttling" and was left in the Wyoming wilderness for an estimated three to four weeks before she was discovered. That same day, two of Petito's parents, her mother, Nichole Schmidt, and stepfather Jim Schmidt, were seen visiting a memorial for her daughter on Long Island, New York.
Investigators announced at the end of September that her death had been ruled a homicide.
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Gabby Petito's father, Joseph, and her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, hugged after speaking during her memorial service.
Petito and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, embarked on their trip in mid-June with plans to visit national parks along the way. But Laundrie, 23, returned to his North Port home without his fiancée on Sept. 1. Her mother, Nichole Schmidt, reported her missing to Suffolk County Police on Sept. 11.
The Laundrie family’s attorney announced on Sept. 17 that Brian went missing on Sept. 14 after telling his family he was going to a local reserve. The family has since changed the date that Brian was last seen to Sept. 13.
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Shortly after he vanished, authorities named Laundrie as a person of interest in connection with what was then Petito's disappearance. On Sept. 23, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie, accusing him of bank card fraud.
Laundrie is still on the run. So far, he has not been charged directly with Petito’s death.