Forensic anthropologist examining Brian Laundrie’s remains may have results by end of November

Laundrie family attorney says he believes the results will reveal the time – and possibly the cause – of the fugitive’s death

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 02 November 2021 17:47
What are the next steps in the Brian Laundrie investigation?
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Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, said that the results of a forensic anthropologist's examination of Brian Laundrie's remains are expected by the end of November.

Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance and death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. His remains were found in the Carlton Reserve, a protected swamp, on 20 October, more than a month after he went missing. Ms Petito's remains were found on 19 September. Her death was ruled a homicide by way of manual strangulation.

Mr Bertolino told Fox News that he believed the forensic anthropologist's examination will conclude within two to three weeks.

Investigator's discovered Laundrie's skeletal remains the day after a park in the Carlton Reserve reopened to the public. Police said that water levels in the swamp had previously obscured the remains. After a relatively dry October, the waters receded, revealing both Laundrie's remains as well as a notebook and a drybag believed to be his.

Laundrie was identified using dental records that were compared to teeth found in a skull that was found among the remains. The Sarasota County medical examiner said they could not conclusively determine a time of death or cause of death, and sent the remains to a forensic anthropologist for further analysis.

Mr Bertolino said the results of the anthropologist's exam would likely reveal Laundrie's time of death. When asked if it would reveal his cause of death, he said "we'll see."

Police said Laundrie's notebook "may be salvageable" despite being underwater for likely a month. The notebook may contain information concerning his disappearance or insights into his and Ms Petito's relationship prior to her death.

Ms Petito's father, Joe Petito, said he did not believe anything in the notebook would bring him any closure or comfort in the wake of his daughter's death.

Shortly after the remains were identified as Laundrie, his parents and sister, Cassie, took two days to mourn him in private. His parents have since returned to their home in North Port.

The North Port police faced criticism after it was revealed that the department's chief, Todd Garrison, erroneously claimed he knew where Laundrie was located. On 16 September, Mr Garrison told the press he was aware of Laundrie's whereabouts. However, he had actually left his home on 12 September.

Mr Bertolino said he told investigators that Laundrie had not returned from his hike the following day, but a search for him did not being until 17 September. A spokesman for the North Port police claimed that officers mistook Roberta Laundrie, his mother, for him. He claims the two are similarly "built" and that officers saw the woman, wearing a baseball cap, driving her son's silver Mustang.

The spokesman, Josh Taylor, later said that there was a "very good possibility" that Laundrie was dead two days after Ms Petito was reported missing on 11 September.

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