Nancy Grace: Gabby Petito strangulation-homicide points to potential 'sweetheart murder'

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    Fox Nation host and former Fulton County, Georgia, special prosecutor Nancy Grace offered her analysis on ‘America Reports’ Tuesday of Wyoming authorities’ declaration that the cause of death for Gabrielle Petito – a Long Island woman who was on a trip through the Mountain West with her boyfriend – was homicide caused by strangulation.

    Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced Tuesday that Petito’s remains had been left decomposing in the wilderness for several weeks, but that more specific details were restricted from the public by Wyoming state law.

    “I think that is very significant we are learning the cause of death, and the fact that it is a strangulation in my mind even more so implicates Brian Laundrie,” Grace said.

    Laundrie — officially a person of interest in the case — has not been seen since September 13, but a hiker in the Smokies reported seeing a man matching his description near the desolate state-line exit of Interstate 40 between Tennessee and North Carolina. 

    The witness said the man told him he was trying to get to California to see his girlfriend, but oddly would not heed his advice to use I-40, which ends in Barstow.

    Grace added that other experts have predicted Petito’s cause of death would be strangulation or blunt force trauma:

    “It’s called a ‘sweetheart murder’,” she said. “In other words, the perpetrator is close up and intimate with the victim. And we find that often in domestic homicides.”

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    “It’s absolutely suggestive of a crime of passion. I had long suspected it would be either strangulation or supplication or blunt force trauma in a fit of rage. But here we have Gabby out in the wilderness alone with Brian Laundrie. We know she was contemplating leaving him because so many people had just told her to reconsider the relationship.”

    Grace asserted that when a woman is considering breaking up with her boyfriend, it can be “statistically the single most dangerous time” for her.

    “I’m really … relieved that they could even determine a cause of death due to potential discomposure of Gabby Petito,’ Grace concluded.

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