NORTH PORT, Fla. – Two weeks since Gabby Petito was revealed to have been the sufferer of a murder, famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden instructed Fox News the FBI’s determination to withhold her stays from her household was “very unusual,” as was the company’s determination to not launch the reason for her demise when the style was introduced.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue present in his preliminary dedication that Petito, 22, was the sufferer of a murder, the FBI’s Denver Field Office introduced on Sept. 21. Her physique had turned up close to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sept. 19. 

But the workplace stopped wanting revealing the reason for demise pending the ultimate post-mortem outcomes, and days glided by with out the company releasing her stays to the household – a transfer that Baden, a Fox News contributor, known as “very unusual.” 

“What they’re saying is, whatever they found, they’ve ruled out accidents, suicides or natural deaths that could cause it.” 

— Dr. Michael Baden 


“I think the FBI would be very cautious about things because they don’t want to make a mistake,” he instructed Fox News. “Whatever reasons they’re withholding, it is very unusual.”

He added: “I think that the only reason would be, you’re concerned that you’re missing something, but that should not be a concern, because whatever is needed to investigate the death from the point of view of the medical examiner will be seen, documented and could be retained.”

If a pathologist is questioning whether or not somebody suffered from coronary heart illness, she or he would retain the guts – “but you don’t retain the whole body,” Baden mentioned. 


In 2021,” he went on, “where anything of value can be document[ed], retained, tested on day one or two or three, there’s no reason to keep the whole body from the family.”

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Rick Stafford, a spokesperson for Petito’s household, didn’t reply to requests on Monday and Tuesday relating to whether or not they lastly had been reunited with the sufferer’s stays. Blue didn’t reply  to Fox News’ inquiry and the FBI declined to remark. 

Baden, who served because the chief medical expert in New York City and the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police, has been concerned in a bevy of high-profile instances, together with the continuing investigation into the demise of Jeffrey Epstein. He additionally served because the chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations Forensic Pathology Panel.

He mentioned officers did the “reverse” of what businesses usually do in releasing the style of demise earlier than the trigger. 


Usually, if one thinks of other deaths, high-profile or not, the cause of death is certainly revealed. Sometimes, sometimes the manner of death is held up,” he mentioned.

For occasion, Baden defined, an individual might die from a drug overdose because of an accident, a suicide or a murder. 

Baden is just not concerned within the investigation into Petito’s demise. Speaking usually, when requested if releasing a sufferer’s method of demise implies that the trigger is already recognized, he mentioned: “Yes.” 

He continued: “Now, what they’re saying is, whatever they found, they’ve ruled out accidents, suicides or natural deaths that could cause it.” 

Brian Laundrie and Petito had launched into a cross-country journey in mid-June in a transformed white Ford Transit van with the plan to go to nationwide parks alongside the way in which. They had begun courting years earlier after assembly at their native Long Island, New York, highschool and had moved to North Port, Florida, to stay with Laundrie’s dad and mom. 

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On Sept. 1, months after they started their journey, Laundrie returned to the North Port house within the couple’s van, however with out Petito, officers mentioned. The younger lady was not reported lacking till 10 days later, on Sept. 11, when her mom notified police in Suffolk County, New York. Authorities later seized the van from the Laundries’ house.

Laundrie was subsequently named an individual of curiosity in Petito’s disappearance. He stays on the run, and the FBI has issued an arrest warrant for financial institution cost fraud. He has not been charged in her demise. 

Friends, household and the general public paid their respects throughout a Sept. 26 ceremony on Long Island.

Speaking in the course of the service, Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, known as his daughter “the most amazing person I’ve ever met.”

“I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby,” he mentioned on the service. “If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now.”

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.