Brian Laundrie, the subject of a massive law enforcement search after his fiancee Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was found dead in a Wyoming campground in September, died by suicide, his family’s attorney said in a statement on Tuesday.
Laundrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, lawyer Steven Bertolino said .
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” he said.
Laundrie, 23, was the sole person of interest in the strangling death of Petito. In a saga that captivated social media and drew worldwide attention, the couple set out on a cross-country road trip in her van before Laundrie returned to their Florida residence without her and later refused to cooperate with authorities.
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Then, Laundrie went missing himself, sparking a weekslong search in the swampy woods of southern Sarasota County that involved dozens of law enforcement personnel from the FBI and agencies across Florida.
Authorities found the skeletal remains of Laundrie on Oct. 20 at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where he was reported missing by his family. A notebook and other personal items were discovered along with his remains, authorities said.
At the time, the North Port Police Department in Florida released a statement from the medical examiner confirming that the remains were identified through dental records and not DNA.
The initial autopsy did not uncover a cause of death, and his remains were given to anthropologists for a more conclusive exam.
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Before his remains were discovered, Laundrie was wanted on federal charges for using Petito’s debit card to withdraw cash.
The case surrounding Laundrie and Petito sparked global interest, dominating cable news for weeks. On Oct. 12, a Wyoming coroner ruled Petito died of strangulation, adding that her body was “outside in the wilderness” for 3-4 weeks before being found.