Brian Laundrie, the man sought as a person of interest in the disappearance and death of his fiance, died via a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Laundrie family in a statement issued by their attorney.
The partial remains of Laundrie were located in a wildlife preserve in Florida on Oct. 20 after weeks of searching. And about a month before that, his fiancee, Gabby Petito, was found dead in a remote area in Wyoming as officials were searching for Laundrie.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide,” lawyer Steven Bertolino told journalist Brian Entin in a statement on Tuesday, citing the results of an autopsy. “Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on Sept. 23 for bank fraud charges after he allegedly used Petito’s debit card to withdraw funds and make purchases.
Laundrie had returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home on Sept. 1 without Petito. On Sept. 11, the woman’s family reported her missing, and Laundrie then disappeared in mid-September, triggering a lengthy manhunt and drawing international attention and headlines.
Officials in Wyoming later ruled Petito’s death as a homicide, and it confirmed she died of manual strangulation.
Joseph Petito said the family began worrying after several days without hearing from their daughter.
“We called Brian, we called the mom, we called the dad, we called the sister, we called every number that we could find,” Joseph Petito said during a “Dr. Phil” interview in September. “No phone calls were picked up, no text messages were returned.”
At the time, Petito said that he hopes “they get what’s coming, and that includes his folks.” He continued, “Because I’ll tell you, right now, they are just as complicit, in my book.”
A man who saw Petito and Laundrie fighting in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 called 911 to report a domestic violence incident, according to a recording of the call obtained from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. The man said he saw Laundrie slap Petito while walking through the town and proceeded to hit her before the two got in their van and drove off.
Video released by the Moab police showed that an officer pulled the couple’s van over on the same day after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near Arches National Park. The body-camera footage showed an upset Petito.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.