Gabby Petito nails could lead cops to killer, says Nancy Grace as some fear Brian Laundrie 'may use romance as defense'

GABBY Petito's killer could be revealed by her finger nails, investigator Nancy Grace says.

Results from the slain 22-year-old hiker's autopsy were announced on Tuesday, confirming that she was strangled before her body was discarded in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

Grace reacted to the announcement during a Fox News appearance today and said the cause of death could offer new hope for finding the person responsible.

She said it's possible Gabby clawed at her killer as she was strangled, potentially capturing their DNA under her fingernails.

"This is a sweetheart murder," Grace said. "You are up close and personal with your victim. Gabby was out there alone strangled dead. 

"Because her body was in the elements so long, we may not get certain evidence like DNA on her body or fibers from the killer's shirt. 

"But I would look immediately to her finger nails. If she scratched at her killer that evidence may be protected." 

Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue on Tuesday confirmed that DNA evidence had been turned over to law enforcement but declined to comment further.

Grace's comments came as nationwide manhunt continues for Gabby's fiance Brian Laundrie, who vanished in Florida two days before her body was found.

Brian is considered a person of interest in Gabby's homicide but has not been named as a suspect.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…

His disappearance four weeks ago set off a wave of speculation on social media about his potential involvement in Gabby's death.

Amateur sleuths posting theories on Reddit have shared concerns that Brian could use his romantic involvement with Gabby as a defense if his DNA is found on her body.


Brian and Gabby were around two months into their planned four-month cross-country road trip touring America's national parks before Gabby vanished sometime around August 27.

Brian quietly returned home to Florida alone on September 1, failing to alert police or Gabby’s family that she was missing.

He reportedly acted “without a care in the world” upon his return, neighbors said, mowing the front yard and enjoying idyllic bike rides with his mom.

Gabby was eventually reported missing by her mother Nichole Schmidt on September 11.

That came after 10 days of allegedly being stonewalled by Brian and his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, about where her daughter was, Schmidt said.

Then, on September 14, Brian allegedly vanished after telling his parents he was going hiking at Carlton Reserve.

His parents didn't report him missing until September 17, two days before Gabby's body was discovered.

A four-week search for Brian has so far yielded no leads beyond speculation and a handful of potential sightings.

While he is currently only considered a person of interest in Gabby's murder, there is a warrant out for his arrest.

The warrant accuses Brian of bank fraud after he allegedly racked up $1,000 in charges on a debit card that's believed to have belonged to Gabby.

Gabby Petito timeline

Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:

  • June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
  • July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
  • July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
  • July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
  • August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
  • August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
  • August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
  • August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
  • August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
  • August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
  • September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
  • September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
  • September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
  • September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
  • September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
  • September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
  • September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
  • September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
  • September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
  • September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
  • September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
  • September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
  • September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
  • September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
  • September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
  • September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
  • October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.


We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The US Sun team?

Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.

Like us on Facebook at and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS

    Source: Read Full Article