“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Steve Bertolino said in a statement
The news comes mere hours after Bertolino said updated autopsy results for Brian Laundrie were to be expected Tuesday or Wednesday.
A subsequent press release Tuesday by the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office also confirmed Laundrie died by suicide.
The partial remains of Laundrie, including part of a human skull, were found Oct. 20 by his parents and FBI in Myakkahatachee Creek Environmental Park along with his backpack and a notebook at a previously submerged location. The next day, the FBI confirmed it had used dental records to identify the remains.
Bertolino previously told News 4 the remains were sent to an anthropologist for further evaluation. He previously said in a statement that Laundrie’s parents will forgo holding a traditional service for him and will instead have his remains cremated. Laundrie was confirmed dead on Thursday, Oct. 21.
After the cause of death had been announced, the family of Gabby Petito said that they “had been aware of the circumstances” and would not be making a statement “due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office” in order to let the FBI continue its investigation. The Petito and Schmidt families said they were also asked to wait for prosecutors to determine if any more people would face charges, and would issue a statement at that time.
Laundrie’s death brought the nationwide search for the only person of interest the FBI had named in Petito’s case to a dramatic end. He hadn’t been seen since Sept. 13, when his parents told authorities their son said he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve. The silver Mustang his parents said he drove to the environmental park lot had an “abandoned vehicle” tag that was timestamped 2:24 p.m. Sept. 14, NBC affiliate WFLA previously reported.
That notice would have suggested the vehicle had been left there for at least a day before it was tagged. It’d be another few days before it would’ve been towed. It wasn’t until Sept. 17 that Laundrie’s parents reported him missing.
Law enforcement confirmed on Thursday that partial remains found the previous day at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Fla., belong to missing 23-year-old Brian Laundrie.
The 22-year-old Long Island woman’s remains were recovered Sept. 19 in a remote area of a Wyoming national park she and Laundrie had visited during their months-long cross-country road trip.
In September, the county coroner who ruled Petito’s death a homicide revealed chilling details from the autopsy results: She was strangled by someone’s bare hands, and likely died three to four weeks before she was found.
That type of death is one of “the most intimate of homicides that can occur,” forensic expert Joseph Scott Morgan told News 4’s The Debrief podcast in a previous episode.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: If you are in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.