Gabby Petito was strangled to death, a US coroner has announced, following a post-mortem examination of her body.
Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue told a news conference: “In the manner of death in Gabrielle Venora Petito, we find the cause of death the cause is by strangulation and the manner is homicide.”
Ms Petito, 22, was found dead in Wyoming on 18 September – a week after her parents reported her missing – and the case has made headlines across America.
Dr Blue said the level of decomposition of the body suggested she died three to four weeks before her body was discovered.
Ms Petito’s family were notified of the results of the medical examination ahead of the news briefing.
There is a huge effort to track down the prime suspect in her death, her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.
The couple were visiting national parks in the western US in a Ford transit van and documenting the trip on social media.
Police bodycam showed them being pulled over in Utah in August after they got in an altercation, with the officer separating the couple for the night.
Ms Petito’s body was eventually found in an undeveloped camping area surrounded by woodlands and brush, about 30 miles (48km) northeast of Jackson, Wyoming.
TV personalities including Duane Chapman – known as Dog the Bounty Hunter – and America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh have started their own searches for Laundrie.
Earlier this month police released new bodycam video in which Ms Petito tells officers that, while her boyfriend had hit her, she had hit him first.