Brian Laundrie died of gunshot to head, death ruled suicide: family attorney

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Source: WFLA/Moab Police Department

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Long Island-native Gabby Petito, killed himself with a gunshot to the head, according to autopsy results revealed by the Laundrie family’s attorney on Tuesday.

The attorney representing Chris and Roberta Laundrie released a statement saying the couple continues to mourn the loss of their son and hopes “these findings bring closure to both families.”

Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found in a Florida nature preserve in October.

The coroner in the initial autopsy could not determine the cause or manner of death, so Laundrie’s remains were sent to anthropological experts for further investigation. Those results were revealed to his family on Tuesday.

Laundrie had been the subject of a manhunt for more than a month as investigators searched for clues in the slaying of Petito during their cross-country van trip together.

Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11 after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. The 22-year-old’s body was found in a remote area near a national park in Wyoming on Sept. 19.

A Wyoming coroner determined Petito died by strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide. The autopsy revealed Petito’s body had been outside for three to four weeks before she was found.

Early on in the investigation, police named Laundrie as a person of interest in his fiancé’s disappearance. He vanished days after Petito was reported missing.

Laundrie’s parents have said they last saw him on Sept. 13 when he took a car to a 24,000-acre Florida reserve. He was reported missing on Sept. 17.

Authorities searched the reserve for over a month before Laundrie’s remains were discovered in a swampy area that was previously under water at the start of the investigation.

The remains were discovered when Laundrie’s parents went to the reserve with police to search for their son. Personal items, including a backpack and a notebook believed to belong to him were also found in the area.

Laundrie was not charged in connection with Petito’s death. Before his body was found, the FBI had issued an arrest warrant for “use of unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death. The FBI said he used a debit card and a PIN to access two bank accounts Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

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