No funeral for Brian Laundrie, remains to be cremated: Family attorney
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie do not have plans to hold a funeral for their son, whose body will be cremated and the remains given to his parents "when the time comes."
The 23-year-old hiker's decomposed body was located Wednesday, October 20, in the Carlton Nature Reserve, where his parents said he'd gone hiking on September 13. Steven Bertolino, the lawyer representing the Laundries, revealed that the body was being sent to an anthropologist for further examination after an autopsy was unable to provide a cause or manner of death. The deceased fugitive was the sole "person of interest" in the strangulation killing of his fiancee Gabrielle Petito.
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Fox News reporter Claudia Kelly Bazan confirmed on Twitter Saturday, October 23, that Bertolino told her Laundrie's cremated remains will be given to his parents "when the time comes."
The #Laundrie family attorney tells me there will be no funeral for #BrianLaundrie • his body will be cremated, and given to his parents Chris & Roberta when the time comes.— Claudia Kelly-Bazan (@ClaudiaKellyB) October 23, 2021
Laundrie went missing last month as Florida authorities sought to speak to him about the disappearance of 22-year-old Petito. After a manhunt that lasted more than five weeks, Laundrie's remains were discovered, along with his backpack and notebook, inside the vast wildlife reserve near his North Port, Florida home on Wednesday. The following day the FBI confirmed it had positively identified the remains via dental records. His parents, who accompanied law enforcement to the reserve where their son's remains were found, are said to be grieving privately. "They’re still quite upset, but they’re getting through it," said Bertolino. "When the remains are returned to them, they’re going to be cremated and the family will have a private ceremony."
In a recent interview, Bertolino divulged new details about Laundrie's emotional state before he left home never to return, as well as how his parents fully cooperated with the investigation. He said the FBI discussed the possibility of unspecified criminal charges that could be filed against the Laundries in the past several weeks, but they haven't been charged as yet. "Everyone’s been blaming the parents and assuming the parents have been helping in some way, you have to understand the FBI is looking at different angles and different perspectives," said Bertolino. "When all is said and done, I do not believe charges will be filed."
After disappearing on September 13, Laundrie was indicted in September for bank card fraud after he allegedly used Petito's debit card in the days after her homicide. Her remains were found near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19, and an autopsy determined she died by manual strangulation. The vlogger had stopped communicating with her family in late August when she was on a cross-country trip with her fiance, who returned home to Florida by himself in her converted Ford Transit van on September 1. Laundrie refused to speak to authorities after Petito was reported missing by her mother on September 11. Her family also said the Laundries ignored their calls and text messages seeking information on their daughter's whereabouts.
Laundrie was "very upset … quite distressed and out of sorts" when he left home to go hiking in the Carlton Reserve on September 13, the day his parents said they last saw him alive.
For the first time, we are hearing about the moments before Brian Laundrie left his parent’s home on Sept. 13 to go to the Carlton Reserve. I asked attorney Steven Bertolino whether Brian’s parents feared Brian may hurt himself. His answer: pic.twitter.com/EL1nYKcB2m— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) October 22, 2021
"The truth is, he was not doing well," Bertolino said. "He was sad. He was upset. And when he left, Chris had said, ‘I wish I didn’t let him go out the door, but I couldn’t stop him.’" The lawyer added that he didn't know specifically what Laundrie was upset about.