Brian Laundrie, who was found dead in a Florida swamp last month, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said Tuesday.
Laundry had been the victim of a manhunt for more than a month as investigators decided to seek leads in the slaying of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, while they were on a cross-country van trip together.
In a news release, the medical examiner in Sarasota County, where Laundrie’s body was found, stated that the cause of death was a gunshot wound and that the manner of death was suicide.
In a statement, attorney Steve Bertolino, who represents Laundrie’s parents, said the family had been informed of the autopsy results.
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.
Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found in a Florida nature preserve last month and were positively identified using dental records.
The discovery of the remains brought to an end a massive search involving federal, state, and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie went missing on September 14, two weeks after returning alone to his parent’s home in North Port, Florida.
However, the investigation into Petito’s death is still ongoing. However, only Laundrie was ever named as a person of interest in the case by law enforcement.
Petito’s family reported the 22-year-old woman missing on Sept. 11, initiating a worldwide media storm and, in Laundrie’s case, focusing primarily on the Carlton Reserve wilderness park near the Laundrie home. It is a dense forest, swampy area that is home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, and a variety of other animals.
Petito’s body was discovered on the edges of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19, one of the places the young couple visited on their trip, which they documented through social media videos. The body had been there for about a month, according to authorities.
Petito died by strangulation, according to an autopsy in Wyoming, and it was a homicide. Laundrie was named as a “person of interest” in her death, but he was only charged with fraudulent use of a debit card that did not belong to him.
Petito’s family’s attorney, Richard Stafford, said there would be no immediate comment on Laundrie’s cause of death.