Petito, 22, was confirmed to be the victim of a homicide by Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue, the FBI’s Denver Field Office said on Sept. 21. On Sept. 19, her body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
But, pending the final autopsy results, the office held off on divulging the cause of death, and days passed before the government released her remains to her family – a move that Baden, a Fox News contributor, described as “extremely rare.”
“What they’re saying is that whatever they found, they’ve ruled out the possibility of accidents, suicides, or natural deaths.”
— Michael Baden, M.D.
CASSIE LAUNDRIE UNLEASHES AFTER GABBY PETITO HOMICIDE IN THE BRIAN LAUNDRIE MANHUNT
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results. pic.twitter.com/JoHenMZ9UU— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 21, 2021
He told Fox News, “I think the FBI would be very cautious about things because they don’t want to make a mistake.” “Whatever rationale they have for withholding information, it is extremely exceptional.”
“I suppose the only reason would be that you’re worried you’re missing anything,” he continued, “but that shouldn’t be a problem since everything is needed to investigate the death from the medical examiner’s point of view will be seen, documented, and maybe retained.”
If a pathologist is unsure whether someone has heart disease, he or she will keep the heart — but not the entire body, according to Baden.
ACCESSORY, OBSTRUCTION CHARGES FOR PARENTS IN THE BRIAN LAUNDRIE MANHUNT?
“There’s no need to hide the full corpse from the family in 2021,” he continued, “when anything of value may be document[ed], retained, and tested on day one, two, or three.”
Petito’s family representative, Rick Stafford, did not respond to demands for comment on Monday and Tuesday about whether they had been reunited with the victim’s remains. Blue did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News, and the FBI declined to comment.
Officials, he added, performed the “opposite” of what agencies usually do by announcing the method of death before the cause of death.
“When one considers previous deaths, whether high-profile or not, the reason of death is almost always revealed. Occasionally, the manner of death is questioned “he stated
For example, a person could die from a drug overdose as a result of an accident, suicide, or homicide, according to Baden.
Baden is not a part of the Petito death investigation. When questioned if disclosing the way of death of a victim suggests that the cause is already known, he responded, “Yes.”
“Now, what they’re saying is that whatever they found, they’ve ruled out accidents, suicides, or natural deaths as possible causes,” he continued.
Officials claimed he returned to the North Port residence in the couple’s van on Sept. 1, months after they started their journey, but without Petito. The young woman was not reported missing until her mother informed authorities in Suffolk County, New York, ten days later, on Sept. 11. The van was later confiscated from the Laundries’ residence by authorities.
Petito’s disappearance led to the identification of Laundrie as a person of interest. He is still on the run, and an arrest warrant for bank charge fraud has been issued by the FBI. He has not been charged in connection with her death.
During a ceremony on Long Island on Sept. 26, friends, family, and the general public paid their respects.
Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, described his daughter as “the most amazing girl I’ve ever encountered” during the service.
“I want you to look at these photographs and be inspired by Gabby,” he stated during the memorial service. “If there’s a trip you want to go on, do it right now. Do it now, while you still have the opportunity. If you’re in a relationship that you think isn’t right for you, end it right now.”
Paul Best of Fox News contributed to this article.