Brian Laundrie’s parents KNEW their gun was missing, but kept quiet to prevent public panic
Information about the missing gun was not revealed, Bertolino said as he and law enforcement agreed 'it was best for that information to not be public'
Brian Laundrie’s parents knew a gun was not at their home after their son left for a hike to a Florida nature park amid a probe into the disappearance of his slain girlfriend Gabby Petito, their family lawyer said. Attorney Steve Bertolino said that Chris and Roberta Laundrie got to know about the missing gun after they voluntarily gave all of their firearms to police on September 17 -- the same day they reported their son missing.
The lawyer also mentioned that when the finding was made that the firearm was not inside its case, officers from the FBI and North Port Police Department were also present at the home. Explaining the reason why the information was hidden from the public, Bertolino told The Sun: “Imagine, with the frenzied atmosphere at the time, if the public thought Brian had a gun. I cannot speak to why [police] did not reveal the info but we spoke about it at the time and I believe they felt as I did.”
Brian, who was a person of interest in Gabby’s case, left his North Port, Florida home on September 13 for a hike in the nearby Carlton Reserve days after Gabby was reported missing. But when he did not return for a few days, his parents then reported him missing on September 17. A search operation was launched, but on October 20, skeletal remains of Brian were found in a marshy patch of land inside Myakkahatchee Creek Park.
Later, it was revealed that the 23-year-old’s cause of death was a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. However, it’s not clear yet if he actually took his parents’ gun, or killed himself using that. The family lawyer said that he “does not know” if the police found the gun “near Brian's remains or among his possessions.” Meanwhile, three experts earlier told The Sun that the suicide death of Brian points towards the fact that he was responsible for his girlfriend’s death whose body was found on September 19 in a campsite near Wyoming's Grand Teton Nation Park. She was strangled to death by a “human force,” her autopsy report claimed.
Former veteran NYPD homicide detective Tom Joyce: “I think we all know he was responsible. He understood the gravity and low likelihood of getting away with it. He contemplated his options and felt this was the easiest way out. I don't consider it an absolute 'confession', though, which we should all wish he did before he took his life.”
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani stated, “All the evidence tells the same story: that Laundrie killed himself after killing Petito. The only question is whether Laundrie left a suicide note and whether it is salvageable after being underwater, and whether the gun will ever be found.”
Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, the former president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, also added: “I believe he killed her out there [in Wyoming], and he came to realize there was no way out. And rather than talk about it, he took his own life. It makes all the sense in the world. That's it for the case - done and dusted.”