NORTH PORT, Fla. — Brian Laundrie died by suicide, the Laundrie family attorney said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that 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," Steven Bertolino told ABC Action News.
The District 12 Medical Examiner's Office in Sarasota completed the investigation of Laundrie. The office said Tuesday the investigation included the following:
- Scene response by medical examiner personnel
- Complete examination of the recovered skeletal remains
- Consultation with a forensic odontologist, including dental comparison for identification
- Consultation with a forensic anthropologist, including skeletal reconstruction
- Confirmation of the identity of the remains by both dental comparison and DNA analysis
The North Port Police Department gave a statement following the autopsy results.
"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," said Chief Todd Garrison.
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Brian Laundrie's skeletal remains were found on October 20 at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
David Thomas, Ph.D., a professor of forensic studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, said Laundrie's body likely decomposed quickly due to the heat and humidity in Florida.
"If we were up north, let's say in the wintertime, you're going to have a perfectly preserved body," said Thomas. "The skeletal remains were in the water, so the water is steadily washing away even more of the remains. It is actually destroying and helping deteriorate."
The search for Laundrie had been ongoing for more than a month. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie by U.S. District Court of Wyoming in September following the death of his fiance Gabby Petito.
The warrant was for violation of the federal statute "use of unauthorized access devices."
ABC Action News recently obtained aerial footage from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office helicopter during the search for Laundrie. The sheriff's office also released audio transmissions where multiple agencies communicated with one another.
Laundrie and Petito were on a cross-country trip over the summer when he returned to his parent's North Port home, where they both lived, without her. Petito was reported missing on September 11 and her body was found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton on Sunday, September 19. The body was confirmed to be that of Petito on September 21.
The Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced on October 11 that her cause of death was manual strangulation/throttling and ruled the manner of death a homicide.