Gabby Petito murder: Who are the 'additional individuals' likely to be charged?
TETON COUNTY, WYOMING: Gabby Petito's family lawyer, Richard Stafford, has said that there is a possibility that "additional individuals" may be charged in connection with her disappearance and death in Wyoming. Stafford's statement comes after it was determined that Brian Laundrie had died by killing himself with a bullet to the head. As a result of this development, rumors were rife that the individuals being referred to could be Brian's parents. The lawyer, however, did not specify if Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian's parents, were the "individuals".
The Laundrie family did come under fire for their silence in the days leading up to Laundrie's body being discovered. "The family was asked to not comment and let the FBI continue their investigation and allow the United States Attorney's Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged," Stafford said in a statement.
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Brian Laundrie, the only suspect in the murder of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, his family lawyer confirmed on Tuesday, November 23. The manner of death was determined to be suicide, as per a forensic anthropologist. A gun from Chris and Roberta Laundrie's home had been missing ever since their son took off. When his parents reported him missing in September, they had turned over all of their firearms in their home to the FBI. One gun, however, appeared to be missing. Steve Bertolino, the attorney for the Laundries had confirmed that after the Laundries reported their son missing on September 17, they surrendered 'five or six' guns stored in their home to the FBI, telling officials that one was missing, however, that was never mentioned until recently. In fact, the FBI faced a lot of flak for failing to disclose that Laundrie may have been armed.
“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 Bertolino told New York Post. “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.” According to the medical examiner -- there has been a DNA analysis that confirmed the identity of the remains as Brian Laundrie. This is in addition to a dental comparison, and a forensic anthropologist doing a skeletal reconstruction.
“While law enforcement was at the Laundrie home on Sept. 17 to complete the missing person report for Brian, we volunteered to surrender all guns in the home to avoid any possible issue going forward,” attorney Bertolino said. “While retrieving and taking inventory of the guns, it was realized one pistol was missing."
The District Twelve Medical Examiner in Sarasota had initially claimed that Laundrie was identified through dental records. However, in a release on Tuesday, November 23, they revealed that “DNA analysis” has also been used to make the determination. Stafford said federal prosecutors and investigators have not closed the case. Stafford stated, "The family was asked to not make any comments and let the FBI continue the investigation. The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged.”