World Elizabeth Smart reflects on Gabby Petito case: Knowing what she went through is 'heartbreaking'
Gabby Petito autopsy: Expert weigh in after coroner's 'manual strangulation' ruling
Amid Tuesday’s news that Gabby Petito died as a result of "manual strangulation," some of the nation’s most expert forensic pathologists are sounding off, with one explaining how medical professionally likely reached their conclusions. Dr. Cyril Wecht has been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile death investigations, including those involving President John F. Kennedy and JonBenét Ramsey. He spoke to Fox News Digital on Tuesday, immediately following Teton County Coroner Dr.
Elizabeth Smart, who wasfor nine months when she was 14-years-old by a street preacher and his wife, said Wednesday that it is "heartbreaking" knowing what Gabby Petito likely went through in the days and weeks leading up to her death.
"In Gabby's case in particular, I mean, I was alive, and I came home, and hers tragically has not ended that way," Smart, who is now a victims' rights activist, said on the show "." "But knowing what it's like being on the other side and potentially what may have happened and what may have led up to her final moments, and understanding probably a lot of what she was feeling, it's heartbreaking."
Brian Laundrie manhunt: Gabby Petito's parents say fugitive fiancé still alive, recall learning tragic news
NORTH PORT, Fla. – The parents of Gabby Petito described in heartbreaking detail the moments when they heard the news that their 22-year-old daughter’s remains were believed to have been found in Wyoming after she had been missing for weeks, and say they believe her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is still alive. Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother and father, and her nearly lifelong step-parents, Tara Petito and Jim Schmidt, sat down for an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw that aired Tuesday on his self-named show.
Smart was kidnapped from herhome by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee in 2002. She was held in captivity and raped by Mitchell for nine months, before being rescued by on a street in Sandy, Utah, about 20 miles from her home.
One of her kidnappers, Barzee, was released from prison on parole in 2018 after serving 15 years in prison. Smart said Wednesday that she was disappointed in Barzee's release but thankful that she got some measure of justice.
"I was disappointed, but it also helped me have a greater appreciation for how many victims never even have a smidgen of justice. Their perpetrators walk every day free," she said. "Like, at least I got something. How many more haven’t?"
Gabby Petito Sleuth Forum Tears Itself Apart Over Cringeworthy ‘Awards’
The mysterious disappearance and death of “van-lifer” Gabby Petito has garnered an outsized amount of media attention, which has itself generated its own intense debate. Petito, 22, was strangled to death while road tripping across the U.S. with her 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie. After returning to Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito, Laundrie himself went missing shortly after being named a person of interest in the case. He has thus far not been charged with Petito’s murder, but is facing a fraud charge for allegedly using her debit card following her death.
People worldwide have been captivated by the Gabby Petito case, and her family has thanked everyone for bringing awareness to the 22-year-old's disappearance, but loved ones are also asking people to direct their attention to the thousands of other missing person cases that are still active.
"It should continue for other people, too. This same type of heightened awareness should be continued for everyone ― everyone," Joseph Petito, Gabby's father, said at a press conference on Sept. 22.
"It’s on all of you, everyone that’s in this room, to do that. If you don’t do that for other people that are missing, that’s a shame, because it’s not just Gabby that deserves that."
At the end of last year, the FBI's National Crime Information Center countedactive missing persons cases.
"It’s a massive problem. Every 90 seconds, a person goes missing," Smart said Wednesday. "Just in the time that we’ve been sitting here chatting, there are people who have already gone missing."
While Barzee was released from prison three years ago, Smart was confident that Brian Mitchell will never escape his life sentence.
"He will never get out. He's in federal prison. There's no chance of parole," Smart said Wednesday.
Gabby Péto: Brian Laundrie remains not found .
the American police, looking for Brian Laundrie for nearly 4 weeks, still does not meet him. © North Port / Florida Police / Handout via Reuters / File Photo Where is Brian Laundrie? This is the question to which the police would finally like to be able to answer. The 23-year-old, missing since September 17, is for the moment not found . The latter is sought in the investigation of the death of his fiancée Gabby Péto, whose body was discovered in the Wyoming on September 19th.