Observers have long wondered whether officials will bring any charges against Laundry’s parents
Lawyers for Gabby Pettito’s family made the assumption that “additional persons” may face charges in connection with her strangulation in Wyoming more than two months ago.
It came shortly after authorities revealed Brian Laundry’s cause of death to be his former fiancé and the only person interested in his murder. He shot himself in the head in a boggy nature trail near his parents’ Florida home about two weeks after driving cross-country to get there in Petito’s van.
“Schmidt and the Petito family are aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder,” Attorney Richard Stafford said in a statement Tuesday, referring to Petito’s parents and step-parents. “Gabby’s family will not make a statement at this time due to a request from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Brian Laundry Update: The family surrendered the guns to lawn enforcement on Sept. 17 – but one was missing
Observers have long wondered whether federal or local officials plan to bring any charges against the parents because their son came home alone from an interstate road trip with Petito and the family had no clue about his whereabouts. There was no public comment.
“The family was asked not to comment and the FBI was asked to continue its investigation and allow the United States Attorney’s Office to determine whether any additional individuals would be charged,” Stafford said.
Steve Bertolino, an attorney for Laundry and his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundry, said he would not comment on Stafford’s remarks.
A Florida license plate reader picks up Pettito’s van near the Laundry’s home in North Port on September 1. But she had already died in Wyoming, found 18 days later near a campsite north of Jackson in late August.
Brian Laundry autopsy: Forensic anthropologist says fugitive died by suicide
On August 12 in Utah, witnesses called the police to report a domestic incident involving the couple, Granthshala News Digital first reported. Moab police isolated them for the night but did not make any charges.
A few days later, Laundry flew home to Florida alone for a few days and dropped off Petito in Salt Lake City. He flew back, and they continued their journey for some time.
He was last seen alive in public in late August, leaving a restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming, a few miles from where officials would find his remains on September 19. The Teton County coroner ruled her death to be homicide by strangulation.
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Petito’s family reported his disappearance on September 11. On 13 September, Laundry left his parents’ home and went into the woods as North Port Police failed to track down his whereabouts.
When his parents handed over all the guns in their home to police four days later, one was missing, Granthshala News Digital was first to report.
For more than a month, a nationwide search yielded no results. Officers then found his remains nearby, where his parents had taken them to the Mykahatchi Creek Environmental Park in North Harbor. A month later, the results of a forensic anthropologist’s autopsy found that Laundry had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Bertolino, his parents insisted he was in the area for weeks, and experts have said their cooperation in the search could help them avoid future charges. Although fees may be possible.
“His son returned without his fiancé, and he did not report Gabby’s disappearance,” noted nema rehmani, a former federal prosecutor. “If he helped Brian evade law enforcement by giving him a head start, he could be charged with having an auxiliary device after the fact of the murder.”
If it is proved that he lied to the FBI, he could face charges, he said.
“Their ultimately leading agent charges for Brian’s remains make the charges less likely, but what the laundry parents told law enforcement, and when, is the key to any prosecution decision,” Rahmani said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted by calling 800-273-8255.
There is also a national crisis text line available 24/7 by texting “Home” to 741741 for those who do not wish to speak to a counselor.