Gabby Petito Case: Brian Laundrie's Cause of Death Revealed

After authorities discovered Brian Laundrie's remains following a month-long manhunt, new details surrounding his death have emerged.

By Alyssa Morin Nov 23, 2021 6:34 PMTags
Watch: Gabby Petito's Cause of Death Revealed

After Brian Laundrie's remains were found in a Florida reserve, new details have come to light about his passing.

On Nov. 23, the Laundrie family's attorney confirmed the 23-year-old's cause of death.

"Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide," attorney Steven Bertolino tells E! News 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."

The medical examiner's office confirmed the cause of death following a "complete examination" of the recovered skeletal remains and additional DNA analysis. The ME also consulted with a forensic oncologist for dental comparison and a forensic anthropologist for skeletal reconstruction, according to a press release obtained by E! News on Nov. 23.

This news comes one month after authorities found human remains belonging to Brian, the former fiancé of late YouTube creator Gabby Petito. Human remains were discovered at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 20. In late October, FBI Denver announced it was in fact Brian, writing on Twitter at the time that "a comparison of dental records" confirmed his identity.

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Florida law enforcement officials stated during a press conference that the partial human remains, as well Brian's backpack and notebook, were discovered at the reserve in an area that was previously underwater.


A spokesperson for the North Port Police told NBC News that Brian's remains were "skeletal."

After Brian was confirmed dead, the Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino, said in a statement, "Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian's." 

He continued, "We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundrie's privacy at this time."

On Oct. 24, the Laundrie family attorney revealed that Brian's parents wouldn't hold a traditional funeral service for him, and instead, announced that he would have his remains cremated, according to multiple media outlets.


Gabby was found dead in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 21. Authorities had previously named Brian a person of interest, not a suspect, in the investigation.

On Oct. 12, the Teton County Coroner's Office announced that she died of strangulation, adding that her time of death was estimated to be three to four weeks before her body was found.

"We're just hoping that through our tragedy losing Gabby, that in the future, some good can come out of it, that we can help other people who may be in a similar situation," Gabby's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, told reporters during a press conference at her memorial service on Sept. 26. "We need positive stuff to come through this tragedy that happened. We can't let her name be taken in vain. We need positive stuff."

On Sept. 11, the YouTuber was first reported missing by her parents, nearly a week and a half after her fiancé returned to Florida alone following their cross-country road trip together. In addition, police stated that Brian's family had said to not have seen him since Sept. 14. They reported him missing as well. However, Brian hadn't spoken to law enforcement before his disappearance.

One week after his disappearance, police issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian. In the document obtained by E! News, he was accused of using an unauthorized debit card and bank account between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

In a statement to E! News, the Laundrie family attorney addressed Brian's warrant: "It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise. The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum."

Get all the details surrounding Gabby's case here.

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