Brian Laundrie died from gunshot wound to head, lawyer says

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Brian Laundrie died from a gunshot wound to the head, and his manner of death was suicide, his family’s attorney said Tuesday.

A photo of Laundrie shared by Petito in February. (@gabspetito / Instagram)
A photo of Laundrie shared by Petito in February. (@gabspetito / Instagram)

The lawyer announced the findings in a statement more than a month after an official autopsy on Laundrie’s remains, which were found in wetland areas in Florida’s Carlton Reserve on Oct. 20 and identified as being his on Oct. 21.

After that autopsy last month, his family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, said that “no manner or cause of death was determined.”

Since then, according to a press release from the Florida District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office, a forensic anthropologist and a forensic odontologist have been analyzing Laundrie’s remains. Examiners used dental comparison, skeletal reconstruction and DNA analysis to confirm his identity and cause of death, the office said.

Laundrie disappeared Sept. 14, about two weeks after he returned to his home state, Florida, following the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, 22. Petito’s parents reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Investigators named Laundrie a “person of interest” in her disappearance on Sept. 15.

On Sept. 17, investigators announced that they were searching for Laundrie and could not find him. The FBI searched his home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 20.

A federal court in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on Sept. 23, two days after remains found at a campsite in Bridger-Teton National Forest were confirmed to be those of Petito and her manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.

On Sept. 20, North Port police said they had “exhausted all avenues” searching the 25,000 acres of swampy nature in the Carlton Reserve before they resumed the search.

Partial human remains were found near items belonging to Laundrie a month later.

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

“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,” Garrison said.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.

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