Brian Laundrie, the subject of a massive search by law enforcement after his fiancee Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was found dead at a Wyoming campsite in September, committed suicide, the attorney for his family in a statement.
Laundrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, lawyer Steven Bertolino said.
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings will end both families,” he said.
Laundrie, 23, was the only person affected by Petito’s strangulation death. In a saga that captivated social media and garnered worldwide attention, the couple embarked on a trip across the country in their van before Laundrie returned to their Florida residence without her and later refused to cooperate with authorities.
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Then Laundrie disappeared himself, triggering a week-long search of the swamp woods of southern Sarasota County that involved dozens of FBI law enforcement and agency personnel across Florida.
Authorities found Laundrie’s skeletal remains on October 20 at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where he was reported missing by his family. A notebook and other personal items were found along with his remains, authorities said.
At the time, the North Port Florida Police Department released a medical examiner’s statement confirming that the remains were identified through dental records and not DNA.
The initial autopsy could not find the cause of death and his remains were turned over to anthropologists for further examination.
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Before his remains were discovered, Laundrie was wanted for using Petito’s debit card to withdraw money.
The Laundrie and Petito case sparked worldwide interest, dominating cable news for weeks. On October 12, a Wyoming coroner ruled that Petito had died of strangulation, adding that his body had been “out in the desert” for 3 to 4 weeks before being found.