Did Brian Laundrie have psychotic break? May have gone into drug-fuelled rage at Gabby Petito
A reputed psychologist has suggested that Brian Laundrie's alleged actions may have been the result of a "psychotic break" that caused him to "fly into a deadly rage" at his fiancee Gabby Petito.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Orna Guralnik, a New York-based Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, said that Laundrie’s alleged “impulsive-ridden” behavior could also have been triggered by drugs. While it's unknown whether the missing fugitive was on drugs, he revealed in an August 12 police stop in Moab city that he suffered from an anxiety disorder, for which he was prescribed medicine but hadn't taken it.
Gabby Petito's last moments: Experts paint grim picture, say it was a ‘long’ process
Severin Beckwith: US Marshals ambush Brian Laundrie lookalike on Appalachian Trail
Guralnik was featured on Showtime’s documentary series Couples Therapy earlier this year, which saw her work with a number of couples who were having troubled relationships. She told The Sun that if Laundrie did indeed murder his girlfriend, he was either "extremely sociopathic or mentally ill." At the same time, the psychological expert noted that there were "many, many mentally ill people that don't murder their partners." She added, “Sounds like he was in a rage, impulsive-ridden rage which could have been in the throes of something psychotic or drugs.”
According to Guralnik, Laundrie exhibited "sociopathic behavior" during his interaction with Moab police as he “knew how to play well with the cops" and was “charming.” She explained, “He knew how to be charming with the cops. Sociopaths are good at reading a certain aspect of their environment and creating a certain kind of ease. They create a certain vibe that helps them get away with whatever they need to get away with.”
The Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed on September 21, 2021, that Petito's death was a homicide. The official autopsy report, released by Teton County on October 12, 2021, revealed that she died by strangulation.
According to Dr Dan Field, who has been an expert witness in strangulation and homicide cases, killing someone by strangulation is a "long and deliberate" process that takes roughly between 62 to 157 seconds depending on the severity of the attack. The doctor explained that victims may lose consciousness within the first five to 10 seconds of being strangled. This happens due to a combined lack of oxygen, reflexes, as well the obstruction of blood flow to the brain. Seizures can occur between 11 and 17 seconds of being strangled. After 30 seconds, the victim is said to lose control of their organs. "It is surprisingly quick, but it's not a moment," Field explained to Fox News. "It's not a flap. It's not the pulling of a trigger."
Petito was murdered at least three to four weeks before her body was found and had remained outside "in the wilderness" for this time, according to Dr Blue. However, Dr Field said some clues would have remained on Petito's body regardless. He explained how the coroner would have found a broken hyoid bone in the victim’s neck, bleeding within the muscles of the neck, or damage to the carotid or jugular artery.