Brian Laundrie autopsy update: Cause of death was suicide, says forensic anthropologist
Laundrie took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head
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Deceased fugitive Brian Laundrie died of suicide, a forensic anthropologist told Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino on Tuesday.
Laundrie took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head, Bertolino said.
"Chris and Robert are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families," he said.
The Florida District 12 Medical Examiner said Thursday that officials completed their investigation through a scene response by medical examiner personnel, a complete examination of the recovered skeletal remains, a consultation with a forensic odontologist that confirmed a comparison of dental records, a consultation with a forensic anthropologist and a comparison of remains by DNA analysis.
Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance and homicide of his former fiancée, Gabby Petito — a tragedy that captured the nation's attention for more than a month after Petito's family reported her missing on September 11.
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Authorities recovered Laundrie's partial skeletal remains, along with a backpack and other personal items belonging to Laundrie, on Oct. 20 at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida. The following day, after a comparison of dental records, the agency confirmed the remains as Laundrie's.
The medical examiner's office conducted an initial autopsy in late October, but results came back inconclusive. The remains were then sent to a forensic anthropologist.
Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains, conduct DNA tests and look for any signs of weapon evidence to help determine how a person died.
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Authorities also found Laundrie's notebook on Oct. 20, which police say "may be salvageable." It is unclear what is inside the notebook.
Laundrie had returned to his parents' home on Sept. 1 without her. Petito's family reported her missing 10 days later. Laundrie's parents then reported their son missing on Sept. 17 but clarified later that the last time they saw him was Sept. 13.
The North Port Police Department and the FBI searched the Myakkahatchee Creek park for more than a month before eventually finding Brian's remains and personal items with help from Laundrie's parents in an area that had previously been underwater.
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Police previously directed questions about a firearm from Fox News to the FBI. The FBI has not released any new information about the case at the time of publication.
Petito-Schmidt family attorney Richard Stafford told Fox News' Laura Ingle that the family "has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder" and "will not be making a statement at this time due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office."
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"The family was asked to not comment and let the FBI continue their investigation and allow the United States Attorney’s Office make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged," he said. "When that determination is made, we will have a statement."
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255.
For those who don’t want to speak to a counselor, there’s also a national Crisis Text Line available 24/7 by texting "home" to 741741.