TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The cause of death for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé, has not yet been determined, his family’s lawyer said Monday. Attorney Steven Bertolino last week that Laundrie’s remains had been transferred to an anthropologist for further evaluation.
“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Bertolino said Monday. Bertolino also confirmed reports that there would be no funeral service for Laundrie. Bertolino said his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, were “grieving privately in Florida” with their daughter Cassie.
After over a month of searching, authorities located Laundrie’s remains and other evidence on October 20 at the Carlton Reserve, a nearly 25,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County, Florida. 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 could 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 on Thursday.
Laundrie was named a person of interest in Petito’s death after returning to North Port, Florida, without her after the couple went on a cross-country road trip. Her body was later found in Wyoming, and the coroner ruled she had died by “manual strangulation.”
Laundrie was never charged in connection with her death, though he was suspected of debit card fraud and withdrawing more than $1,000 from an unnamed account during the time Petito was missing. He disappeared six days before her 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.”
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,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said. “It certainly wasn’t from a lack of taking it seriously or hustle or knowledge. Sometimes things happen.”
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