Brian Laundrie death: No gun recovered amid reports firearm belonging to family is missing

No firearm has been reported found near the site where remains of suspect in Gabby Petito homicide were discovered

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 23 November 2021 22:22

Related video: Brian Laundrie shot himself in head, family attorney confirms

A forensic anthropologist has ruled that Brian Laundrie's cause of death was suicide by way of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Laundrie is the only person of interest in the death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. Ms Petito's remains were found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest in September, her death ruled a homicide by manual strangulation. Laundrie's skeletal remains were found about a month later in Florida's Carlton Reserve. A medical examiner sent the remains to a forensic anthropologist after a cause of death could not be determined.

Though the anthropologist's ruling has answered one question - how did Laundrie die - it raises others, like the fate of the gun he used in his suicide.

The FBI issued a statement the day after it was announced that skeletal remains had been found in the swamp, but at no time did the agency suggest it had located a firearm. The FBI has no obligation to reveal any of its findings to the public during an ongoing investigation.

Speculation aside, there is no publicly available information to suggest a gun was recovered. Fox News reported on Tuesday that the Laundries turned their guns over to police, but noted that one was missing.

Laundrie left for the Carlton Reserve on 12 September, the day after Ms Petito was reported missing. It is unclear exactly when he died. His remains were discovered on 20 October, meaning he could have been dead in the swamp for more than a month.

Heavy rains in September caused the swamp to flood, which prevented law enforcement from locating Laundrie's remains despite near daily searches of the area from 17 September until 20 October.

During that time, Laundrie's gun - like his remains - was likely submerged in water.

With the gun almost certainly still intact, there remain a few possibilities as to its location. The gun could be buried under sediment in the park in the area where Laundrie's remains were discovered. The gun could have been washed away to another part of the park. Less likely, but still possible, is that the gun was found by someone else and taken or that it was somehow moved by an animal.

Theories about a gun possibly belonging to Brian Laundrie began circulating in late August when a pair of fishermen found a gun that had been weighted down in the water near Fort DeSoto, Florida.

The location was significant as Dog the Bounty Hunter had discovered that the Laundrie family - including Brian - had spent several days vacationing at a nearby campground. The camping trip occurred just days after Laundrie returned from his cross country road trip without Ms Petito.

Speculation circulated online whether the gun could have been one owned by Laundrie. By the time the gun was found, Ms Petito's death had already been ruled a strangulation.

With the recent revelation that Laundrie shot himself, it seems extremely unlikely that the gun found near Fort DeSoto belong to him.

The gun was later turned over to police and is currently being held as evidence.

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