An attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie said Tuesday that he fatally shot himself in the head.
Laundrie, 23, had been the subject of a manhunt for more than a month as investigators searched for clues in the slaying of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, during their cross-country van trip together.
Attorney Steve Bertolino said in a statement that Laundrie's parents have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was suicide.
“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.
Found in a Florida nature preserve, Laundrie’s skeletal remains were positively identified last month using dental records.
The discovery of the remains concluded a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie disappeared Sept. 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.
The investigation into Petito’s slaying, however, has not yet concluded. But only Laundrie was ever identified by law enforcement officials as a person of interest in the case.
Petito, 22, was found dead, a victim of homicide, on Sept. 19 near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, just east of Grand Teton National Park. A team of searchers from the FBI, Jackson Police Department, Teton County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and Teton County Search and Rescue joined in the on-the-ground searches where Petito’s Ford Transit van had been seen.
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue concluded that Petito died of manual strangulation and that her death had occurred about three or four weeks prior to when her body was found.
Petito’s family last talked to her on Aug. 25, when the vanlifer and blogger told her mother that she was in Grand Teton National Park and would be heading to Yellowstone. The last publicly reported sighting of Petito alive was Aug. 27 at Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson.
Laundrie returned home to Florida alone Sept. 1 in Petito’s van. He was reported missing after telling his parents on Sept. 13 or 14 that he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, a vast nature preserve in Sarasota County. The preserve has for weeks been a key area in the search for Laundrie.
Laundrie was a person of interest in the homicide of Petito, whose parents reported her missing Sept. 11 after they were unable to contact her while she and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip visiting national parks and public lands in the West.
Laundrie was also charged in a Wyoming grand jury indictment with unauthorized use of a debit card. The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the federal arrest warrant on Sept. 22, alleging that Laundrie fraudulently used a bank card to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000; Laundrie’s lawyer confirmed to national media that the card in question was Petito’s.