Steven Bertolino sat down with the attorney representing Brian Laundry and his parents NBC News On Thursday, just hours after learning that the skull fragments found at Mykahatchi Creek Environmental Park the previous day belonged to his client.
During the interview, Mr. Bertolino revealed that he is a longtime friend of Laundry’s and added that he has watched Mr. Laundry and his sister Cassie grow up. He said Mr Laundry’s father, Chris Laundry, confirmed to him that the remains found on Wednesday belonged to his son.
Asked how the parents were taking the news, Mr. Bertolino said a parent who has had their child die is “sad under any circumstances”, adding that the laundry has been disrupted for weeks. The pouring protesters have not made the process of mourning easy.
Mr Bertolino said he did not want to speculate on the cause of Mr Laundry’s death, adding that he would prefer to wait on a decision from law enforcement officials.
Some commentators on social media considered the discovery of Mr Laundry’s objects by his parents on Wednesday as suspicious, pointing out that the parents found the objects without much difficulty a day after the park reopened , even after several weeks of police searches. . More conspiracy commentators also suggested that the laundry parent put items in reserve.
Mr Bertolino addressed those doubts, saying that parents wanted to explore the reserve themselves as the park had just reopened to the public. He urged them to alert law enforcement, which they did. During his search with law enforcement that morning, Chris Laundry found a dry bag belonging to his son. Later, the police found human remains of the skeleton.
North Port Police have said they are “100 percent confident” and that Laundry did not bring any discovered items into the park with them that day.
“I’m a little angry that people are even speculating like this,” Mr Bertolino said. He said the North Port Police gave a statement saying that they had searched the area earlier but it was underwater at the time due to heavy rains in September.
“John Q public could not know with their mind that this area was inaccessible and that yesterday’s objects may not be seen,” he said. He called the theories “ridiculous” and “nonsense”.
When asked about Gabby Petito’s family, Mr. Bertolino shrugged off the question, instead focusing largely on conspiracy theories about himself and the laundry parents. He notes that Petito suffered a “grave loss” and that anyone with “humanity” should have sympathy for what was going through both families.
The lawyer said the case was not over, as he had not yet spoken with law enforcement officials about the various details of his interactions with Mr. Laundry and his parents, but added that today “was not the time”. Those issues to talk about. He also said he had “no reason to believe” that Mr Laundry’s parents would be charged with the crimes.
NBC New’s Tom Lamas then asked Mr. Bertolino whether a deal had been discussed between him and the FBI, which Mr. Bertolino denied, saying that the allegations were discussed, but there was no “threat, no one”. There was no coercion, and no deal was cut.”
Asked why the Laundries had not spoken to law enforcement or the press about the disappearance of Ms. Petito and her son, Mr. Bertolino said it was because he told them not to speak to anyone.
The attorney also revealed details of Brian Laundry’s final day at home with his family. According to Mr. Bertolino, Mr. Laundry’s father said that his son was very upset before leaving the house, and wanted him “not to let him go, but he couldn’t stop her.” Mr Bertolino said Laundry did not know his son was about to disappear when he left the house on 12 September.
Mr Laundry became the focus of a search operation on 1 September after returning home from a road trip without his girlfriend Ms Petito. The pair traveled throughout the western US, documenting their journey on social media.
Ms Petito’s body was finally discovered on 19 September in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. His death was ruled murder by strangulation by hand.
Mr Laundry left his home on 12 September without talking to the police and disappeared. His search began on 17 September, but his remains were not found until 20 October after the waters receded in the Carlton Reserve.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Brian Laundrie