Family attorney says autopsy of Brian Laundrie’s remains came back inconclusive

Brian Laundrie. Photo: Moab Police

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida, Oct. 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Brian Laundrie’s remains were sent to an anthropologist “for further evaluation” after autopsy results came back inconclusive, the family’s attorney Steven Bertolino said Monday.

“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Bertolino, said in a statement to NBC News.

Bertolino said he was not given a timeline for when the anthropologist will conclude the evaluation of the remains.

The attorney also said that Laundrie’s parents have have left their home in North Port, Florida, to mourn the loss of their 23-year-old son privately.

The parents are still in the state, Bertolino confirmed. They have also decided to forgo a funeral and cremate their son, the attorney added, though it’s not clear when the latter might happen or where his remains might be laid.

“The family is grieving privately somewhere in Florida,” Bertolino said.

The Laundrie family attorney also spoke out Thursday after the FBI Denver said that a comparison of dental records confirms that the human remains found Wednesday in Florida are those of the man who has been missing since Sept. 13.

North Port, Florida, police said Thursday that the remains found were skeletal. Senior law enforcement officials also said the remains included a portion of a human skull.

Bertolino told NBC News that he has known the Laundrie family for over 25 years. “I’m sure every parent out there knows that getting the news that your child is no longer with you is sad under any circumstances. The fact that the Laundries have been subjected to these people in front of their house for the last four weeks and they continue out there today is just making it all the more difficult.”

Bertolino also addressed the question of why Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s parents, chose to go to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Wednesday in order to assist in search efforts. He said they went because the park had just been re-opened to the public.

“Chris and Roberta decided that since it was open, and available to them, they wanted to go and look for Brian by themselves,” he told NBC. “After speaking with me, I told them that I wanted to notify law enforcement so that we would have no issue, and I did text my contact at the North Port Police Department and the response I got was thank you for the heads up, and law enforcement did show up at 7 a.m. at the park entrance to meet Chris and Roberta.”

Bertolino said that he is unhappy that people are speculating that it was a coincidence that the same day that both the Laundries went out to help search, the remains as well as a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie were found.

He pointed out that the FBI did say that the area Laundrie’s remains were found had been under 2 to 3 feet of water up until recently. He called theories about the Laundries planting items are “ludicrous” and “non-sensical.” “Enough is enough,” he added. “When does it stop?”

He said he has no reason to believe that Chris and Roberta Laundrie will be charged with any crimes going forward.

Bertolino has consistently maintained Laundrie’s parents did not know that when their son left their house on Sept. 13, they did not know that he was leaving for a prolonged period of time.

“No, they did not,” he said. “What I can tell you is that Brian was very upset when he left and Chris conveyed to me several times that he wished he didn’t go but he couldn’t stop him.”

The entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is about five miles north of the Laundrie family home.

It was announced last Tuesday that the park had reopened after being closed for nearly a month due to the search.

FBI Tampa gave a statement to the media concerning the developments in the search for Laundrie on Wednesday.

FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said: “Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains, along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie. These items were found in an area that up until recently had been under water. Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area.”

Immediately after McPherson gave his statement, a crowd of individuals gathered at the site of the press conference chanted: “Justice for Gabby…”

After the press conference, Bertolino released the following statement: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie were at the reserve earlier today when human remains and some of Brian’s possessions were located in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be. Chris and Roberta will wait for the forensic identification of the human remains before making any additional comments.”

The FBI and the North Port Police Department were informed last Tuesday night of the Laundries’ intentions to visit the park.

After a “brief search” off a trail Laundrie frequented, the family and law enforcement found “some articles” belonging to him, Bertolino said.

On Friday, Sept. 17, Laundrie’s parents told the FBI that their son went to the Carlton Reserve near the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park that Tuesday, Sept. 14, but never returned home. They later said that, in fact, they last saw their son Sept. 13.

The North Port Police Department and the FBI then conducted an exhaustive search in the 24,565-acre nature reserve for Laundrie.

Laundrie was the only person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The couple, who shared a home with Laundrie’s parents in Florida, had been traveling across the western U.S., including stops in Utah, before Petito’s disappearance near the end of August.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, it was determined that Petito died of strangulation, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced.

“We find the cause of death by strangulation, and the manner is homicide,” Blue said at a news conference.

Blue said his estimate is that Petito, 22, died three to four weeks before her body was found. Three to four weeks before Petito’s body was discovered would have been in the approximate time period of Aug. 21 through 28.

Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van, but without her. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11.

On Sept. 19, FBI agents found the remains believed to be Petito’s in an area where the couple had been camping in Grand Teton National Park.

Officials confirmed on Sept. 21 the human remains found in Grand Teton National Park were those of the missing woman.

Though authorities have not explicitly connected Laundrie to Petito’s death, they had been looking for him, in part over a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using another person’s debit card. That card belonged to Petito, investigators say.

Anyone who may have any information regarding the case is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this story as information is made available.


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