Brian Laundrie’s family ‘grieving privately in Florida,’ cause of death unknown, lawyer says

Sarasota County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The cause of death for Gabby Petito’s fiancé has not yet been determined, his family’s lawyer said Monday.

Attorney Steven Bertolino told News Channel 8 on Friday that Brian Laundrie’s remains had been transferred to an anthropologist for further evaluation.

“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Bertolino said in a text to Allyson Henning on Monday.

After more than a month of searching, authorities on Oct. 20 located Laundrie’s remains and other evidence at the Carlton Reserve, a nearly 25,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County. The remains were identified using Laundrie’s dental records. They were found alongside some personal items, including a backpack, dry bag and a notebook, which experts believe may provide further clues.

“If that notebook contained, for example, information that could have been admissions, it could be projecting blame or rationalization, all that information could help in the determination,” former FBI profiler Jim Clemente told CNN Thursday.

Laundrie was named the person of interest in Petito’s death after returning to North Port without her after the couple went on a cross-country road trip.

Petito’s body was later found in Wyoming, and the coroner ruled she died by “manual strangulation.”

Laundrie was never charged in connection with her death, but was named a person of interest in Petito’s murder. He was suspected of debit card fraud and withdrawing more than $1,000 from an unnamed account during the time Petito was missing.

Laundrie disappeared six days before Petito’s body was discovered. Bertolino told News Nation’s Ashleigh Banfield that he would go hiking often, so his parents weren’t concerned about him leaving to go to the reserve.

“He’s a young man; they weren’t concerned,” Bertolino said. “They thought he was … clearing his mind.”

News Nation’s Brian Entin reported that police had kept tabs on Laundrie before he disappeared by placing surveillance cameras around his family’s home, but they missed him leaving to go to the reserve. Authorities said the lack of charges against Laundrie prevented them from taking more drastic measures.

“What I’ll say is that we were the ones doing everything in our power to get answers on this. If mistakes were made, there’s human error involved in every investigation. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of taking it seriously or hustle or knowledge. Sometimes things happen,” North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said.

Bertolino also confirmed reports there would be no funeral service for Laundrie.

When asked where his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie were currently, Bertolino said they were “grieving privately in Florida,” with their daughter Cassie.

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