USF forensics expert discusses Laundrie autopsy, if gun was recovered

Sarasota County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There are still many unanswered questions about what happened to Gabby Petito.

It was revealed Tuesday her fiancé and person of interest in her death Brian Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but that raises more questions, including where the gun is.

The District 12 Medical Examiner said weeks after returning home to North Port without Petito, Laundrie took his own life by putting a gun to his head, and pulling the trigger.

The news comes more than a month after search crews found his remains at the Carlton Reserve. Neither the FBI or North Port Police have said whether they recovered the gun. 

“If they are saying gunshot wound to the head and suicide, and we don’t have a firearm at that scene, we have a big issue,” Program Coordinator of the Forensic Studies and Justice Program at USF Peter Massey said. “We have to account for this firearm.”

The attorney for the Laundrie family said when Brian’s parents first reported him, they turned over all of their guns, but one was missing. He told 8 On Your Side in a statement, “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”

Massey believes this case will close, and we may never get all the answers.

“Two people know what happened, both of them are now unfortunately deceased, therefore we are never going to come up with an answer, unless there is truly something maybe in that notebook or a recording or something that Brian Laundrie wrote or said to somebody,” Massey said.

North Port PD Chief Todd Garrison released a statement following Tuesday’s news:

“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.”

The attorney for the Petito and Schmidt family said Gabby’s family will not make a statement right now.

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