Brian Laundrie died by suicide, according to the attorney representing his family.
Laundrie, 23, was a person of interest in the death of his fiancee 22-year-old Gabby Petito.
“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,” said the Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino.
Bertolino said one gun was missing when Laundrie’s parents handed over their guns to investigators.
According to a news release by the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office, the cause of death was determined by examining the skeletal remains and with consultation with a forensic odontologist and forensic anthropologist. Investigators also identified the remains through DNA testing.
Petito’s family declined to comment “due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office.”
“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,” according to the statement.
WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said U.S. laws don’t allow dead people to be charged with crimes.
“But that doesn’t stop district attorneys, U.S. attorneys, grand juries from doing final reports. So it’s likely they’ll task the investigators from the FBI for local law enforcement to provide a summary report for what they learned throughout their investigative period,” Kolko said.
Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1 after going on a cross-country trip with Petito in a converted camper van. He returned to his parents’ home in North Port without Petito.
Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her family failed to get in contact with her.
Her remains were found in Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19. Investigators determined she was killed by manual strangulation and named Laundrie a person of interest.
Laundrie was also wanted for misusing Petito’s bank card after her death.
Laundrie was last seen on Sept. 13 after his parents said he went for a hike in the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota.
After he failed to show up back home, a weeks-long search by FBI and the North Port Police Department ensued. Records show it costs the North Port Police Department $195,000 in overtime to look for Laundrie.
Laundrie’s remains were found on Oct. 20 in the nature park in North Port after it reopened to the public.
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.
Warning signs to look out for in your child:
- Isolation or refusal to attend school;
- Changes in eating habits;
- Withdrawal from peers or social activities;
- Withdrawal from extracurricular activities at school or in the community; and/or
- Reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation in school, the community, or on social media.
Kids’ Minds Matter: kidsmindsmatter.com
SalusCare has a weekly zoom support group for parents. It’s free and you do not need to be a client. It’s Monday nights at 7. Zoom ID: 975 9545 3712 Password: 488302
SalusCare Emergency Services: 239-275-4242
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Disaster Distress Helpline: www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline
Parent/Caregiver Guide for Helping Families Cope with COVID-19: www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf
Smart Social: Monitor your kids online https://smartsocial.com/parental-control-software/
National Association of School Psychologists: School safety and crisis
David Lawrence Center website for children
If you or a loved one are struggling, you can find support by visiting resources on the NAMI website.
For a comprehensive list of resources and organizations, you can visit This is My Brave.
For additional tools, including a treatment locator, you can visit the CDC’s mental health web page.
FGCU Community Counseling Center
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry counties
Lee Health – Behavioral Health
Lee Health Foundation’s – ‘Kids Minds Matter’
The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free handbook
Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers
Collier County Mental Health Court
Lee County Mental Health Court
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help)
Southwest Florida Resource Link
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Talking to kids about suicide
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