An attorney for the Laundrie family announced on Tuesday that Brian Laundrie’s death was a suicide.
The attorney, Steven Bertolino, revealed that Laundrie had self-inflicted a “gunshot wound to the head:”
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide.”
Laundrie’s remains were found in a Florida park late last month. Laundrie was a person of interest in the murder case of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito. Petito an Laundrie had embarked on a road trip together and were recording their travels for their social media audiences.
Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1 without Petito. Petito’s was declared missing and her remains were soon found in Wyoming, where the couple had been traveling. Laundrie went missing almost immediately after returning home without Petito on September 13.
“On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T Mabry Carlton Jr Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creed Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie,” the FBI said in a statement on Thursday.
Laundrie missing since September 14
Authorities had also found items believed to belong to Laundrie after his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, took part in the search with the FBI and police more than a month after Laundrie was reported missing after heading to the vast Carlton Reserve park.
Officials say that the remains were found in an area that had been previously covered in water. Many areas of the park flood each year due to rains during the summer months.
The case generated enormous public interest but also raised uncomfortable questions over the unequal attention given to the hundreds of cases of Native American and other minority women missing or murdered across the United States. Petito was white.
Laundrie had been missing since 14 September, two weeks after he returned home alone from the cross-country trip. His parents said he left their house in North Port with a backpack, but left behind his wallet and cellphone.
Petito died of strangulation
Earlier in October, a coroner ruled that Gabby Petito died after being manually strangled.
Dr. Brent Blue, the Teton County Wyoming stated that Petito died approximately three to four weeks before her body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on September 19.
Bodycam footage revealed domestic abuse between the couple
The body camera, which was worn by Moab officer Eric Pratt, shows Petito becoming emotional with Pratt as she explains to him the conflict between her and Laundrie, and tells him that Laundrie hit her.
Petito said that although Laundrie had struck her, she had she had instigated the fight after a verbal argument between the couple had escalated: “Well, he kept telling me to shut up,” Petito told the officer.
Petito maintained that while Laundrie had hit her, she instigated the physicality.
“Well, he like grabbed my face, like, I guess … He didn’t like, hit me in the face. He didn’t, like, punch me in the face or anything,” Petito explained to the officer.
“Well he, like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks … definitely I was cut right here [points to cheek] because I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns,” Petito further explained.