MIAMI – A lawyer for Brian Laundrie’s family said on Tuesday that he shot himself fatally in the head.
Laundrie had been the subject of a manhunt for over a month as investigators searched for clues to the murder of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, on their van trip together.
Lawyer Steve Bertolino said in a statement that Laundrie’s parents had been told the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the death was suicide.
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these discoveries will end both families,” Bertolino said.
Found in a Florida nature reserve, Laundrie’s skeletal remains were identified with certainty last month using dental records.
The discovery of the remains ended a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie’s disappearance on September 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned. alone at his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.
The investigation into Petito’s murder is not yet complete, however. But only Laundrie has been identified by law enforcement as a person of interest in the case.
Petito’s family reported that the 22-year-old woman went missing on September 11, launching a search that garnered media attention around the world and, in Laundrie’s case, mainly focused on the wilderness park of the Carlton reserve near Laundrie’s house. It is a densely forested swampy area that is home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, and many other creatures.
Petito’s remains were discovered on September 19 at the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the places the young couple visited on the trip they documented through videos on social media. . Authorities said the body had been there for about a month.
An autopsy in Wyoming concluded that Petito had died from strangulation and that it was a homicide. Laundrie was listed as a “person of interest” in his murder, but he was only charged with fraudulent use of a debit card that was not his own.