Petito’s boyfriend’s cause of death a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Miami: A lawyer for the family of Brian Laundrie wanted in connection with the slaying of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, said he fatally shot himself.

Laundrie had been the subject of a manhunt in the US for more than a month as investigators searched for clues. Petito was killed during a cross-country van trip they took together.

A police camera video still shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer on August 12.Credit:The Moab Police Department via AP

Lawyer Steve Bertolino said on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) in a statement that Laundrie’s parents had been informed the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was suicide.

“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.

Found in a Florida nature preserve, Laundrie’s skeletal remains were positively identified last month using dental records.

The discovery of the remains concluded a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie disappeared on September 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.

Gabby Petito’s body was found on September 19 on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.Credit:AP

The investigation into Petito’s slaying, however, has not yet concluded. But only Laundrie was ever identified by law enforcement officials as a person of interest in the case.

Petito’s family reported the 22-year-old woman missing on September 11, launching a search that garnered worldwide media attention and, in Laundrie’s case, focused largely on the Carlton Reserve wilderness park near the Laundrie home. It is a densely wooded, swampy area that’s home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and numerous other creatures.

Petito’s remains were discovered on September 19 on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the places the young couple had visited on the trip they documented through social media videos. Authorities said the body had been there for about a month.

An autopsy in Wyoming concluded Petito died by strangulation and that it was a homicide. Laundrie was listed as a “person of interest” in her killing but he was charged only with fraudulent use of a debit card that was not his.


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