Brian Laundrie. | Courtesy Instagram
SARASOTA, Florida — An autopsy and forensic report released Monday details what was at the scene when Brian Laundrie’s remains were found after he died by suicide in Florida.
Investigators had been searching for Laundrie, 23, for several weeks after his fiancé Gabby Petito, 22, went missing. Her remains were eventually found at Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest and her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
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According to the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s report from Sarasota, Florida, investigator Ronald Busbee was contacted by the North Port Police Department about Laundrie’s remains on Oct. 20 last year.
READ: Brian Laundrie’s autopsy report
The FBI searched in the Carlton Reserve in Florida where Laundrie was known to have gone hiking. The report said the area was previously under approximately three feet of water which was indicated by the waterline around the surrounding trees. The scene where Laundrie’s remains were eventually found included trees and overgrown vegetation that had exposure to the outside elements. Skeletal remains along with personal belongings were in plain sight and scattered on the dirt ground.
The search area was divided into two scenes.
According to the report, the “main” scene had human remains, a pair of green shorts with a green belt, two slip-on shoes, a backpack with unknown contents, a white metal ring and an unknown type of handgun. The gun was later identified as a European American Arms .38 special (on barrels) .357 magnum. The firearm was a Windicator revolver. The cylinder contained two live rounds and one spent round of ammunition.
The “secondary” scene contained skeletal animal remains, a handwritten half note and a hat with the logo “MOAB Coffee Roasters.” Petito and Laundrie had spent time in Moab, Utah. Click here for details.
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A dry bag was also located that contained a journal, along with a wooden box that had a small notebook and a picture of Laundrie.
According to autopsy results, Laundrie shot himself in the head. Before taking his own life, he wrote in a notebook that he was responsible for Petito’s death, according to the FBI.
Laundrie and Petito set out on a road trip in Petito’s converted Ford Transit van in June 2021 and documented their travels on social media. Laundrie returned alone, driving the van to his parents’ Florida home Sept. 1.
Police searched for Petito in mid-September, when Laundrie went missing, before her remains were found in Wyoming.
The evening leading up to Petito’s death remains a mystery. The FBI described Laundrie as a “person of interest” in her murder, but he was not charged in her killing, although he did face charges for allegedly using Petito’s debit card without authorization.
Laundrie was last known to be alive on Sept. 13 when he left his home to go hiking in the Carlton Reserve but he did not come home. On Sept. 14, his vehicle was located in the parking lot of the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. On Sept. 17, Laundrie was reported to the North Port Police Department as a missing person.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito. | Courtesy Instagram
Laundrie’s parents had told investigators their son was very healthy and had no known medical history. He did not take any medications and had no known primary care physician.
Click here to read the detailed autopsy and forensic report from the District Twelve Medical Examiner Office.
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