Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to his family’s attorney Steve Bertolino, and that his parents are aware of the coroner’s finding. “Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide,” Bertolino told In Touch via a November 23 statement. “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”
His parents reported him missing on September 17. He was 23. Brian’s initial autopsy results had come back inconclusive after being sent to The Florida District 12 Medical Examiner in late October. His remains were then sent sent to a forensic anthropologist.
Laundrie’s belongings were found in the Florida park on Wednesday, October 20, as he remained missing in the wake of 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s homicide. His parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, went to the park to help law enforcement look for their son, the Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolini, told In Touch.
“The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian’s parents’ intentions, and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning. After a brief search off [of] a trail that Brian frequented, some articles belonging to Brian were found,” the attorney said, adding that a “more thorough investigation” was being done. A medical examiner and a cadaver dog were brought on to the scene as officials searched for more evidence.
Laundrie had been considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Petito before she was confirmed dead on September 21. On October 12, the aspiring travel vlogger’s autopsy results were announced during a press conference and her cause of death was determined to be “manual strangulation.”
While Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue could not pinpoint an exact date of death for Petito, he said it was at least three weeks before her remains were found at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Wyoming on September 19, which is near the Grand Teton National Park — one of the last places Petito was seen alive.
An arrest warrant was then issued for Laundrie on September 22 for the alleged violation of the “fraud and related activity in connection with access devices” statute of the U.S. Code, specifically for “whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices.” According to a press release from FBI Denver’s official Twitter account, the charges are in relation to Laundrie’s “activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito.”
“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” the Laundrie family attorney stated via text after her autopsy results were revealed. “While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise. At this time, Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the fraud charge pending against him.”
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, slammed the attorney’s statement. “His words are garbage … Keep talking,” she wrote in a text to WFLA.
In July, Laundrie and Petito embarked on a cross-country road trip through the American West to document their “van life” on social media. On September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home, where he lived with Petito, without her in their 2012 Ford transit van. The Long Island native was reported missing by her parents more than a week later on September 11.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.