On Tuesday, a long-awaited question in the Gabby Petito homicide investigation was finally answered: cause of death.
In a brief press conference, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue revealed the 22-year-old was killed by strangulation. However, he kept any more details — the shape of the body, other injuries, how exactly the cause was determined — private.
He seemed to imply that information is only really necessary for the those involved in the investigation, directing questions about evidence of Brian Laundrie‘s involvement and the like to the FBI.
But Dog The Bounty Hunter has another theory about why so much has been kept from the public — and why it took so long to even get a cause of death revealed. Speaking to The Sun prior to the press conference, he noted:
“I have never seen the findings of an autopsy take this long to announce.”
His theory? They’re letting out the information slowly on purpose as a “mercy” for the loved ones of the victim. Duane “Dog” Chapman explained:
“I know that my daughter was killed at the same age and for a few weeks, they didn’t tell me that the car actually rolled over on my daughter’s skull.”
He’s talking about Barbara Katy, the eldest of his 12 children, who was killed in Alaska in 2006. She was a passenger in a stolen SUV when the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled and crashed into a tree.
It was her passing, at the age of 23, which Duane has credited as his inspiration for getting involved in Gabby’s case, saying he knew how it felt for a parent to lose a daughter around that age. He continued:
“I remember these exact pieces of time when Barbara Katy passed away so I’m glad I didn’t hear that right away. It’s more the mercy of the federal government and the coroner really to go out very slowly.”
It follows that he must think the homicide was particularly bad if they’re taking this long and holding this much back — though he noted if it came out this was a “brutal murder” then “people are going to go crazy.” Not just her parents either, a huge portion of the public has become emotionally invested in this case.
“If she was suffocated they would have announced that right away. I think it’s more than that.”
Well, he was somewhat right about that. Death by strangulation is more specific than just asphyxia or suffocation. Generally a person has to intentionally impede breathing of another person with pressure on the throat or neck to fit the legal definition.
If it’s any more brutal than that, as we said, Dr. Blue kept it from the press.
At first Dog said he “can’t speculate” as to how it went down, but he went on to do just that. When it comes to his personal guess, no evidence, he let loose on Brian Laundrie:
“Of course he murdered her. I think he called the mom and dad right from the scene and said, ‘OMG!’”
The reality star went so far as giving a potential scenario:
“I think he said, ‘Mom, she was screaming, she was screaming so I put my hand over her mouth, and I held my hand and she was screaming and when I took it away she wasn’t breathing and I tried CPR.”
Wow, that is very specific for someone who wasn’t going to “speculate how it happened.” It is possible that’s how the strangulation occurred — Wyoming, where she was killer, does include “blocking the nose and mouth” in its definition. However, as Dog said, it must be worse than that, right? Or they would have come out and said so?
In any case, the veteran manhunter feels comfortable guessing the parents knew what happened right after and told him, “Ok, son, get home right now.”
See, Dog believes the Laundries already knew their son was abusing his girlfriend before learning about the killing. He explained:
“Now we have to remember that they lived — Gabby and Brian — with his mom and dad for almost two years. And the house, I was there, it’s not a huge house so I’m sure they heard, the parents probably heard Gabby screaming.”
Wow, that is a lot of speculation now. While the relationship has been called “toxic” and “abusive” by some close to the couple, we don’t have any evidence of past physical abuse before the August 12 call to 911. Obviously any abuse implies more abuse, that’s just a good rule of thumb in these situations. Sadly, domestic abuse is very rarely an isolated incident. However, we must point out that all of Dog’s guesses in this case are strictly his own opinion.
What do YOU think happened? Is Dog right? Is it worse than anyone knows, but the government are sparing the parents and public the nasty details?
[Image via FOX13/YouTube.]