Brian Laundrie, 23, fiance digital influencer Gabby Petito, 22, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, said this Tuesday (23) the family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino. The hypothesis that he had taken his own life was released by police in Sarasota, Florida, earlier this month.
Bertolino told The Post that Laundrie’s parents were informed about the cause of their son’s death. “Chris and Roberta are still grieving the loss of their son and are hopeful that these discoveries will bring both families together.”
A forensic anthropologist determined that the form of death was suicide, but Bertolino and the FBI had not previously mentioned the involvement of a weapon. The young man’s parents lacked a pistol when offering weapons from the house to police in September.
“While the police were at Laundrie’s house on Sept. 17 to file Brian’s disappearance report, we offered to turn over all of the weapons in the house to avoid any possible problems in the future,” the lawyer said.
Laundrie’s remains were found at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida on October 21st. At the time, the FBI said a comparison of dental records confirmed the remains were Petito’s fiance. But this Tuesday (23), it was announced that a “DNA analysis” was performed.
Laundrie and Petito left New York in July to drive across the western US for four months after she left her job. They shared smiling photos on social media on what looked like an idyllic journey.
However, on September 1, Laundrie returned alone to his family’s home in North Port, where the couple lived. The case attracted massive media attention, spurred by the discovery of Petito’s body in Wyoming and the announcement that she died of strangulation.
Shortly after his return to Florida, Laundrie disappeared after refusing to answer police questions. His parents and police teamed up to try to locate the young man in Carlton, West Florida.
A WORRIING VIDEO
Petito’s case began to resonate online when her family reported her disappearance on September 11, claiming they hadn’t seen her since late August.
A video released by police in Moab, a small Utah town, raised suspicions around Laundrie. In the images, Petito is shown crying in a car after police responded to a report of domestic violence involving the couple on 12 August.
The woman’s disappearance and the consequent search for her boyfriend caused a wave of publications on social networks, where users mobilized to try to find Petito.
As for Laundrie, police received calls across the country from people who believed they had seen him after his escape. The story is sadly common in a country where hundreds of thousands of people disappear every year.
However, the media attention received for the case generated controversy about the disproportionate attention given to the disappearances of white women compared to those of minority origin.