Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Laundrie Shot Self In The Head, Gun Missing From Home: Report

Steven Bertolino, the attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of his fiance, Gabby Petito, released his cause of death Tuesday. Laundrie's remains were found in a Sarasota County park Oct. 20.
Steven Bertolino, the attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of his fiance, Gabby Petito, released his cause of death Tuesday. Laundrie’s remains were found in a Sarasota County park Oct. 20. (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)

Updated: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday

NORTH PORT, FL — Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of his fiancé, Gabby Petito, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.

The medical examiner’s office said that it confirmed the identity of Laundrie’s remains through dental comparison and DNA analysis.

The office also consulted with a forensic anthropologist, including skeletal reconstruction, and a forensic odontologist for dental comparison and identification to complete its investigation.

The full autopsy report, while on file at the medical examiner’s office, won’t be released to the public until the law enforcement investigation is complete and the FBI allows it, the office said.

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“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,” Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, told CNN.

The Laundries “are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” the lawyer told Fox News.

“We are thankful that another step in finalizing this case has been taken. While this entire situation evokes nothing but sadness, we’re hopeful that all the work which went into the chaotic search for answers will help heal those impacted,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in a statement to WESH.

Though the FBI and North Port police haven’t commented on whether a gun was found near Brian Laundrie’s remains, Bertolino told JB Biunno with WFLA that Laundrie owned a pistol and had access to guns in the family’s home.

“Brian Laundrie owned a pistol, according to Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino, who also says one firearm is missing from the home after the Laundries turned over all their firearms,” Biunno tweeted Tuesday evening.

The family surrendered their firearms to authorities Sept. 17, but noticed one was missing, Fox News reported.

Bertolino told the news outlet that he’s declined to comment on whether Laundrie was armed since he was reported missing out of fear that people would panic and armed vigilantes might go out searching for him.

“We didn’t want the public going into a frenzy on that,” he said. “I don’t think they considered him dangerous to anybody he met on the street.”

Laundrie’s skeletal remains, including a portion of his skull, were found Oct. 20 in the Carlton Reserve and the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Sarasota County, along with several of his belongings, after more than a month of searching for him. The FBI used dental records to match the remains to Laundrie.

No cause of death could be determined after an Oct. 22 autopsy, and Laundrie’s bones were sent to a forensic anthropologist for further examination.

Rick Stafford, the attorney for Petito’s parents, shared a statement from the family, WFLA’s Josh Benson tweeted.

“The Schmidt and Petito family has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder. Gabby’s family will not be making a statement at this time due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office,” Stafford said. “The family was asked to not make any comments and let the FBI continue their investigation. The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals.”

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  • Utah PD To Return Gabby Petito Bodycam Fees To Press: Report
  • Laundrie Likely Took His Own Life In Park, Sheriff Says: Report
  • Gabby Petito’s Dad Not Speculating On Laundrie Notebook: Report
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  • Laundrie’s Cause Of Death Expected In 2 To 3 Weeks, Attorney Says
  • Gabby Petito Foundation Plans Scholarships On Long Island
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  • Brian Laundrie’s Remains Identified Using Dental Records: FBI

Laundrie and Petito, both Long Island, New York, natives living with his family in Florida, were traveling across the country visiting national parks this summer when she disappeared at the end of August. Her body was found weeks later near Grand Teton National Park.

Laundrie returned home alone to Florida in Petito’s van Sept. 1 and was reported missing by his parents Sept. 17.

Patch has reached out to the FBI and the North Port Police Department for additional information.

The investigation into Petito’s slaying has not yet concluded. But only Laundrie was ever identified by law enforcement officials as a person of interest in the case, the Associated Press reported.

Petito’s family reported her missing Sept. 11, launching a search that garnered worldwide media attention. Her remains were discovered Sept. 19 on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the places the young couple had visited on the trip they documented through social media videos. Authorities said the body had been there for about a month.


An autopsy in Wyoming concluded Petito died by strangulation and that it was a homicide. Laundrie was listed as a “person of interest” in her killing but he was charged only with fraudulent use of a debit card that was not his.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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