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Medical Examiner’s Report Reveals New Details About Scene Where Brian Laundrie Was Found Dead

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie appear in an image taken from their YouTube channel Nomadic Statik.

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie appear in an image taken from their YouTube channel Nomadic Statik.

Law enforcement authorities in Florida revealed grisly new details about the death of Brian Laundrie, the 23-year-old man who was the only person of interest in the 2021 murder of his 22-year-old fiancée, Gabby Petito.

The report, released by the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office in Sarasota, confirmed that Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and also revealed for the first time numerous particulars about scene where his body was discovered on Oct. 20, 2021.

According to the report, Laundrie’s remains and personal effects were scattered on the dirt ground “in plain sight” just north of the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, within the Carlton Reserve and west of the Big Slough Canal.

Authorities were able to recover the “vast majority” of Laundrie’s body, which was almost entirely skeletonized except for “minimal areas of adipocere-like white sheen on some of the vertebrae.”

“No soft tissue remains but for minimal partially calcified costal cartilage at the anterior aspects of some of the lower ribs,” the report says. “Multiple long bones including bones of the arms and legs all disclose carnivore predation activity characterized by gnawing and chewing, mostly on the distal ends of the long bones.”

The gnawing marks on Laundrie’s bones were likely left by canines, such as feral dogs and coyotes, as well as rodents and racoons, per the report.

Laundrie’s skull was “extensively fragmented” into at least 27 pieces and several of his teeth were not found. Investigators said that he fired a bullet into the left side of his head near his temple at a slightly upward angle. The bullet exited through the right side of his skull, traveling with “little to no significant front/back deviation.”

Along with the remains, authorities also recovered several personal items left behind by Laundrie, including a pair of green shorts, a green belt, a pair of shoes, a backpack, a metal ring, and handgun described as a “snub-nose revolver.” The revolver was loaded with two live rounds and one spent round.

A drybag was also found at the scene containing: a journal, a wooden box with a small notebook inside, and several photographs, one of which depicted Laundrie.

At a “secondary” scene about 250 feet southwest of the main scene, investigators found the skeletal remains of one or more animals that may be indicative of hunting, a hat with the “MOAB Coffee Roasters” logo on the front, and a “handwritten half note.”

The FBI in January released a statement saying that one of the notebooks found near Laundrie’s body “revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”

The are where the remains were located had previously been under approximately three feet of water “for an extended period of time,” which kept them hidden from authorities searching the area.

Laundrie disappeared in mid-September after returning home alone in a white van he and Petito had been using for a cross-country trip. The couple documented the journey on social media. On Aug. 12, the couple was captured on body camera video by authorities in Moab, Utah, after a suspected domestic dispute.

Laundrie’s Ford Mustang convertible turned up abandoned on Sept. 14 near the entrance to Florida’s Myakkahatchee Environmental Park, which is adjacent to the sprawling T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino in October told the Law&Crime Network that Brian Laundrie flew from Salt Lake City to Tampa to join his family on Aug. 17. The attorney said Brian flew back to Salt Lake City on Aug. 23 to rejoin Gabby.

Petito’s remains were discovered on Sept. 19 in Wyoming’s Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area. An autopsy performed by a Teton County coroner determined that Petito died by strangulation.

A Wyoming grand jury indicted Laundrie for the alleged unauthorized use of an access device — e.g., a debit card — on Sept. 23. The debit card, presumably Petito’s, was said to have been used to purchase more than $1,000 in goods and services in Wyoming and elsewhere. Laundrie was never arrested, and the case never progressed beyond the accusation that he may have killed Petito.

Read the full report below:

[image via YouTube screengrab]

Aaron Keller contributed to this report

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.