Brian Laundrie’s full autopsy and forensic reports (pdf) were released by the District Twelve Medical Examiner Monday in Florida on Monday, providing more details about the circumstances around his death.
The report included details about the 23-year-old’s belongings, which were found in plain sight along a trail in the Carlton Reserve near North Port, Florida. The water line that was seen on nearby trees was evidence that approximately 3 feet of water previously kept Laundrie’s remains hidden from view from officials.
Investigators also used a metal detector to discover a projectile embedded in the ground about 50 feet from where Laundrie’s skull fragments were located, according to the report. They also found skeletal remains, a handwritten note, and a hat.
About 250 feet from the remains, officials found a bag with a journal, a wooden box, photos, and a notebook.
Laundrie’s cause of death was listed as a “gunshot wound to the head with extensive, associated craniofacial fractures,” according to the report. The documents released Monday suggested that Laundrie’s body was likely submerged in the water “for an extended period of time,” which extended investigators’ search for him.
Officials had sought Laundrie for weeks as part of a nationwide manhunt as investigators attempted to find clues about the whereabouts—and later death—of his former girlfriend, Gabby Petito. Petito was found dead in mid-September in Wyoming after the pair embarked on a cross-country trip, and Laundrie was named as a person of interest in the case.
The FBI previously said that after Laundrie was found dead in October 2021, investigators located a notebook that allegedly showed he claimed responsibility for Petito’s death.
Petito’s family reported the woman missing on Sept. 11 after Laundrie returned alone to his family’s home in North Port.
An autopsy also confirmed Petito died via strangulation and her manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Later, the federal officials charged him with bank fraud for allegedly using Petito’s debit card without authorization to withdraw cash. Investigators alleged Laundrie sent text messages to deceive others into thinking Petito wasn’t dead.
New attention was directed to the case after officials released a video of a police stop in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12. Officials at the time concluded that there was a fight between Laundrie and Petitio, and officers decided to separate the two rather than file charges.