Brian Laundrie in all probability killed himself in Carlton Reserve as cops continued to search for him after his girlfriend Gabby Petito went missing, according to a Florida sheriff. Laundrie went missing just two days before Petito's remains were discovered in Wyoming.
Police now believe that the fugitive boyfriend of Petito may have died by suicide just days after his parents reported that he was missing. Laundrie, 23, had been the main suspect in Petito's disappearance and murder after he arrived back home alone in North Port, Florida on September 1 from a cross-country road trip he embarked on with Petito in her white 2012 Ford Transit van.
Taking His Own Life?
Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman during a police gathering at Florida suggested that Laundrie may have taken his own life after he went missing. "That guy went out there and by all accounts probably committed suicide and he was right out there where we thought he was," he said.
Laundrie, police believe, may have died just days after Petito's body was recovered at Wyoming. And all these happened at continued to frantically search for him across Florida. Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17, while Petito's remains were found at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19.
Laundrie's parents had reported that their son had gone to take a walk at a local nature preserve. A month later, on October 20, Laundrie's remains along with his notebook and backpack were found after an extensive search of the Carlton Preserve.
However, an autopsy couldn't determine the time and cause of his death although the Sarasota County Coroner was able to match the remains to Laundrie using his dental records.
It is still not known how exactly Laundrie died. His bones have been sent for further analysis to an anthropologist. Still police are of the opinion that he died by suicide and their belief that their assumption is likely to match with that of the anthropologist's report when it is out.
During the same event, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison explained himself for erroneously claiming he knew where Laundrie was located. He made the comments at a 16 September press conference.
In reality, Laundrie was likely already dead. Police have now admitted they mistook Laundrie's mother for the suspect before he was reported missing, saying it was "human error."
Officers said last week that Roberta, Laundrie mother, had been wearing a baseball cap when cops mistook her for her son on September 15, two days before Brian was reported missing but two days after he actually disappeared from his parents' home.
Police also said that the mistake happened mainly because Roberta and her son were "kind of built similarly" and both issues were to blame for the mix up.
That said, Petito's family has been mostly quiet since the discovery, though her father, Joseph Petito, told a radio station that it was unlikely that any new information gleaned from Laundrie's notebook would bring him closure or solace.