Brian Laundrie died by suicide, family’s lawyer said

Brian Laundrie died by suicide, according to the attorney representing his family.

Laundrie, 23, was a person of interest in the death of his fiancee 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

“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,” said the Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino.

Bertolino said one gun was missing when Laundrie’s parents handed over their guns to investigators.

According to a news release by the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office, the cause of death was determined by examining the skeletal remains and with consultation with a forensic odontologist and forensic anthropologist. Investigators also identified the remains through DNA testing.

Petito’s family declined to comment “due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office.”

“The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged,” according to the statement.

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said U.S. laws don’t allow dead people to be charged with crimes.

“But that doesn’t stop district attorneys, U.S. attorneys, grand juries from doing final reports. So it’s likely they’ll task the investigators from the FBI for local law enforcement to provide a summary report for what they learned throughout their investigative period,” Kolko said.

Click to access Schmidt-and-Petito-Statement-November-23-2021.pdf

Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1 after going on a cross-country trip with Petito in a converted camper van. He returned to his parents’ home in North Port without Petito.

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her family failed to get in contact with her.

Gabby Petito (Credit: Joseph Petito)

Her remains were found in Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19. Investigators determined she was killed by manual strangulation and named Laundrie a person of interest.

Laundrie was also wanted for misusing Petito’s bank card after her death.

Laundrie was last seen on Sept. 13 after his parents said he went for a hike in the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota.

After he failed to show up back home, a weeks-long search by FBI and the North Port Police Department ensued. Records show it costs the North Port Police Department $195,000 in overtime to look for Laundrie.

Laundrie’s remains were found on Oct. 20 in the nature park in North Port after it reopened to the public.

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

RESOURCES

Warning signs to look out for in your child:

  • Isolation or refusal to attend school;
  • Changes in eating habits;
  • Withdrawal from peers or social activities;
  • Withdrawal from extracurricular activities at school or in the community; and/or
  • Reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation in school, the community, or on social media.

Kids’ Minds Matter: kidsmindsmatter.com

SalusCare has a weekly zoom support group for parents. It’s free and you do not need to be a client. It’s Monday nights at 7. Zoom ID: 975 9545 3712 Password: 488302

SalusCare Emergency Services: 239-275-4242

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255​

Disaster Distress Helpline: www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline​

Parent/Caregiver Guide for Helping Families Cope with COVID-19: www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf​​

Smart Social: Monitor your kids online https://smartsocial.com/parental-control-software/​

National Association of School Psychologists: School safety and crisis

David Lawrence Center website for children

If you or a loved one are struggling, you can find support by visiting resources on the NAMI website.

For a comprehensive list of resources and organizations, you can visit This is My Brave.

For additional tools, including a treatment locator, you can visit the CDC’s mental health web page.

MORE RESOURCES

FGCU Community Counseling Center
fgcu.edu

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County
namicollier.org

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry counties
namilee.org

Lee Health – Behavioral Health
leehealth.org

Lee Health Foundation’s – ‘Kids Minds Matter’
leehealthfoundation.org

The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free handbook
Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers

Collier County Mental Health Court
ca.cjis20.org/home/collier

Lee County Mental Health Court
ca.cjis20.org/home/lee

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
convio.net

Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
adaa.org

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help)
hhs.gov/programs/topic-sites/mental-health-parity

Southwest Florida Resource Link
swflresourcelink.com

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
samhsa.gov

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Talking to kids about suicide

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Melissa Montoya
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.
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