By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Brian Laundrie, who confessed to killing girlfriend Gabby Petito while vacationing in the Rockies last year, was partially eaten by animals following his death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Florida last fall, an autopsy report revealed.
Investigators only found the skeletal remains of Laundrie last October, but a medical examiner noted in a 47-page report released Monday that “moderate to extensive animal predation” occurred to Laundrie’s remains.
“These areas are consistent with carnivores and/or omnivores including canines such as feral dogs and coyotes along with rodents and raccoons,” the report said.
According to the autopsy report, the area where Laundrie’s remains were discovered was overgrown with trees and vegetation, but a winding trail for pedestrians and vehicles cut through it.
His remains were “in plain sight” and “scattered” on the dirt, the report said.
Laundrie, 23, died by suicide last fall after claiming responsibility for Petito’s death. Her body was found in September in Bridger-Teton National Forest and Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue identified the cause of Petito’s death as homicide by strangulation.
He also said her body had been in the forest for three to four weeks before law enforcement officials discovered it.
Laundrie and Petito spent most of the summer touring the county in a van. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida without Petito on Sept. 1 and later disappeared. His body was found in October and authorities determined he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A notebook found near Laundrie’s body contained his written confession to Petito’s murder.
After what officials believe was the date of Petito’s death, several text messages were sent between the cell phones of Laundrie and Petito. Investigators said the messages were sent by Laundrie in an attempt to convince law enforcement officers that Petito was still alive.
A warrant was issued for Laundrie’s arrest in September after by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant did not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accused of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.
According to the FBI, Laundrie had used Petito’s debit card between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 on his drive back to Florida from Wyoming.