Gabby Petito family waiting to see if others will be charged as Brian Laundrie lawyer reveals cause of death

Brian Laundrie’s remains recovered from Florida nature reserve last month

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Tuesday 23 November 2021 20:54
Brian Laundrie shot himself in head, family attorney confirms
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The family of Gabby Petito has said it is waiting to see if other individuals are charged over their daughter’s murder, after it was reported the suspect in her death had shot himself in the head.

A lawyer for the family of Brian Laundrie, whose remains were recovered from a Florida nature reserve last month, said a post-mortem examination had concluded the 24-year-old had died after shooting himself in the head with a gun.

Laundrie had been named as a “person of interest” by the FBI in the disappearance and killing of the 22-year-old woman, whose case triggered global attention.

Yet, no formal charges were ever brought against him or anyone else.

On Tuesday, the family for the young woman, originally from Long Island, in New York State, said it had been asked not to comment on the latest developments by the FBI, as it continued its investigation into the case.

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“The Schmidt and Petito family has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder,” said a statement provided to The Independent by a family friend.

“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.”

The statement added: “The family was asked to not comment and let the FBI continue their investigation and allow the US Attorney’s Office make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged.”

Autopsy confirms Gabby Petito's remains found in Wyoming

Laundrie’s suspected remains were found on Oct 20 at Florida’s Carlton Reserve, close to the home he and Petito shared in North Port. The day after, officials confirmed they belonged to the young man, who had set off with the young woman in a white Ford Transit van, with a plan to visit some of America’s national parks.

When he and the van returned, but there was no sign of the young woman, her parents alerted the authorities. Barely a week later, on September 19, her remains were found at the Spread Creek campsite, 20 miles north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was located in the Grand Teton National Park.

A subsequent examination confirmed the remains were those of the young woman and that she had died as the result of a homicide. Further tests showed she had been strangled to death.

A statement issued by Steven Bertolino, a lawyer for Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, said: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound ... and the manner of death was suicide.”

It added: “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”

There was no immediate comment from the FBI.

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