The cause and manner of death have been determined in the case of 23-year-old fugitive Brian Laundrie. Laundrie had been wanted for credit card fraud and was listed by police as a “person of interest” in the strangulation murder of his fiancé, Gabby Petito.
Concerned family members reported 22-year-old Petito missing on September 11, 2021, after not hearing from her in several days. Her body was discovered on September 19 in Grand Teton National Park, where she and Laundrie had been vacationing.
Laundrie had been missing for five weeks when his skeletal remains were found in a Florida park on October 20. For over a month, law enforcement agents searched for Laundrie, without success, in the Carlton Reserve, a sprawling wildlife refuge near the Laundrie family’s home.
News reported that on October 20, FBI agents, together with Laundrie’s parents, searched the nearby Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, locating a dry bag and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie.
Shortly after the discovery of these items, human remains were found in an area that “had previously been submerged in four feet of storm waters for more than a month,” as reported by the US Sun.
The badly decayed remains were later identified via dental records as those of Laundrie, but the Sarasota County Medical Examiner could not determine the cause and manner of death.
A forensic anthropologist, who was hired to analyze the remains, determined that “the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide,” according to the Laundrie family’s attorney Steve Bertolino.
Bertolino relayed the anthropologist’s findings to the Laundrie family, but they have not made any public statement on the matter.
Richard Stafford, the attorney for Gabby Petito’s family, told Fox News that the “family has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder.” He added that “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. “