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Brian Laundrie death ruled a suicide by gun, medical examiner confirms

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:09 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:03 PM CST
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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - Brian Laundrie, the fiancée of Gabby Petito and the only person of interest in her death, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Sarasota County medical examiner.

“The cause of death has been determined to be a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death has been determined to be suicide,” the District 12 Medical Examiner’s office said Tuesday.

The medical examiner’s office said their investigation included a complete examination of skeletal remains; DNA analysis; as well as consultations with a forensic odonatologist, including dental comparison for identification; and a forensic anthropologist, including skeletal reconstruction.

Earlier in the day Steven Bertolino, attorney for the Laundrie family, told ABC7 via text the family continues to grieve. “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”

“We are thankful that another step in finalizing this case has been taken,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in statement. ”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.”

The lawyer for the Petito family, Richard Stafford, said the family will not be making a statement at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and prosecutors in remote northern Wyoming, where Gabby Petito’s body was found.

“The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged. When that determination is made, we will have a statement.”

While Stafford called Laundrie the “sole suspect in Gabby’s murder,” Laundrie was never charged in her death. However, a warrant was issued for his arrest for unauthorized use of a credit card.

Laundrie was the only person of interest in the homicide of Gabrielle Petito, who disappeared during a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. The pair had been documenting the trip on social media when the posting abruptly stopped in late August.

Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11. Shortly before that, he returned to North Port alone in her van.

Officials determined Petito, 22, died of strangulation three to four weeks before her body was found Sept. 19 near an undeveloped camping area along the border of Grand Teton National Park.

Laundrie was reported missing on Sept. 17 though it was later determined there was confusion in the last date he was seen. His parents told authorities he went on a hike in Carlton Reserve on Sept. 14, but then said they miscalculated and that he had been missing since Sept. 13.

After several weeks of searching, his remains were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near the reserve. Some of his belongings were found nearby. The area in which the remains had been found was previously covered in water.

There is no word on when his remains will be released to the family.

Brian Laundrie's cause of death is in question after his remains were found in Carlton Reserve...
Brian Laundrie's cause of death is in question after his remains were found in Carlton Reserve in Florida last week.

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