CBS 48 Hours: What was revealed in Gabby Petito's autopsy and when were her remains found?

Gabby Petito
A "Van Life" vlogger, Gabby Petito, was reportedly missing in September 2021 while on camping trip with fiance and her remains were found in a Wyoming national park (Image via @rebelhearts94/Twitter)

48 Hours is slated to revisit the tragic death of "Van Life" vlogger Gabby Petito. The episode, titled Gabby Petito: The Untold Story, will air on CBS this Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 9 pm ET. The synopsis reads:

"48 Hours explores Gabby Petito's final days and the missed warning signs that might have saved her, contributor Jericka Duncan reports."

Petito's remains were found on September 19, 2021, over a week after she was reported missing, in a secluded region of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She and her then-partner, Brian Laundrie, visited the park during their months-long countrywide adventure trip.


The County coroner declared her death a murder and later disclosed disturbing autopsy discoveries. The autopsy revealed that the 22-year-old Long Island woman reportedly died of strangulation and most certainly died about three to four weeks prior to the discovery of her remains sometime in the middle of September.

Her then-fiance, Brian, soon became a person of interest in the case, and after a countrywide manhunt, the 23-year-old allegedly killed himself in the swamps of Florida where his body was discovered along with a revolver and a diary with entries confessing to the killing.

Autopsy revealed that Gabby Petito's body was "out in the wilderness" for weeks

The Wyoming County coroner, who declared Gabby Petito's demise a murder, claimed that the 22-year-old Long Island woman was strangled to death about three to four weeks before her remains were discovered. She was reportedly camping in the area with her then-fiance, Brian Laundrie, when the incident occurred. Further evidence would reveal that Laundrie was behind the killing.

According to Dr. Brent Blue of the Teton County coroner's office, DNA was retrieved from Petito's remains. Still, he did not specify on the subject, thus failing to answer the question if it matched the victim's DNA or the person responsible for the death. Although he said her body had been "out in the wilderness" for a few weeks, he deferred inquiries about whether the body had been buried or not.

The coroner claimed that the autopsy was thorough and consisted of a whole-body CAT scan, tests by forensic experts and pathologists, as well as a toxicological assessment.

Sources state that Dr. Blue reported that she died somewhere around August 27, which is around the time that authorities claim her mobile went out of signal. The last person that Gabby Petito spoke to was her mother about two days before she allegedly died. According to an October 13, 2021 report, he said,

"We were very exact in our examination and the detail by which the examination was done. We were waiting for various specialists to come in and help with the investigation, waiting on toxicology to be returned, and it was just a matter of making sure we had everything right."

Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie goes missing in the middle of the investigation


Gabby Petito's missing investigation led the FBI to Brian Laundrie, who became a person of interest. Laundrie returned to his parents' house in Florida and kept quiet while authorities were looking into Petito's disappearance. His parents reported him missing on September 13, about five days prior to the discovery of Petito's body. He allegedly claimed to be going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve.

Laundrie's body was found in October along with a notebook, a backpack, and a revolver in the swampy Florida preserve where authorities say he allegedly killed himself in the midst of a multi-state manhunt. The notebook then came in handy for the prosecution to prove his involvement in Petito's alleged homicide case.

Watch Gabby Petito's mysterious death in the wilderness of a Wyoming national park and the subsequent investigation that made shocking revelations on CBS 48 Hours this Saturday, September 17, 2022.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar