Gabby Petito Case Update: The Cause Of Death Could Be “More Challenging” To Determine Than A Standard Autopsy
An autopsy of the remains discovered in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest over the weekend is scheduled for Tuesday, but one expert predicts that it will not yield quick and easy answers.
The body was discovered in the park’s Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite area on Sept. 19, matching the description of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old YouTuber who was last seen in late August. Law enforcement claimed at the time that they suspected the remains belonged to Petito, but that a full forensic identification would be required to confirm.
Although the autopsy should disclose the cause of death, one expert has warned that identifying the cause and timing of death in this case could be difficult.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends First” on Tuesday, Priya Banerjee, a board-certified forensic pathologist, highlighted why the process could be difficult.
Petito’s mother reported her missing on September 11th, however she was last seen on August 24th. If the remains uncovered are indeed those of Petito, Banerjee added, the body may have had weeks to disintegrate, making an autopsy “a little more problematic.”
According to Fox News, Banerjee stated, “The first thing to consider is that if we think about when she was last communicated with in late August, it leaves quite a bit of time for her to be deceased and for the body to decompose.”
“Given the amount of time, I was concerned that everything would not seem as it should, resulting in the decomposition. This has the potential to change not only the color of tissues, but also to mask surface defects.”
”Hopefully, once we get inside, they can see traces of blood staining, whatever else, bone trauma should be easily identified,” she stated.
READ: Gabby Petito’s Mother Slams Her Ex-Fiancé For Suspicious Behavior
Pathologists will need to “really dive in” and conduct “extra analysis” to ascertain the cause of death, according to Banerjee.
According to Banerjee, a forensic entomologist may be required to help pinpoint the time of death.
“Then, even with decomposition, bugs found on the body and other tissue changes might sometimes tell you something that can help you with dating,” she said.
“Bugs, soil elements that can actually work backwards to try to infer a better date for when she was killed if a forensic entomologist gets involved.”
On Tuesday, an autopsy will be performed on the body. Brief News from Washington Newsday.