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Autopsy determines Brian Laundrie died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Brian Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy from the Sarasota County medical examiner released on Monday.

The autopsy came months after the FBI confirmed on Oct. 21 that the human remains discovered at a Florida nature reserve were those of Laundrie.

Laundrie and his fiancée, Gabby Petito, separately disappeared last year after embarking on a cross-country road trip. They were visiting national parks and documenting their journey on YouTube and Instagram.

Petito was first reported missing in September. Days later, the FBI announced that remains found in Wyoming were those of Petito. Laundrie went missing in September after returning to his Florida home without Petito. He remained missing until the FBI in October identified his remains.

The medical examiner’s autopsy report released Monday detailed the human remains discovered on the scene, in addition to other various objects recovered. Authorities found a pair of green shorts, two slip-on shoes, a white metal ring and a short-barrel revolver handgun that was rusty. Officials also recovered a green backpack with a tent and flares and a red hat that had the logo of “Moab Coffee Roasters.” 

Additionally, the medical examiner said it was “informed that an apparent dry bag was located in another area approximately 250 feet southwest of the main area which contained a journal along with a wooden box that contained a small notebook and photographs, some of the photos include Brian Laundrie.”

The autopsy said that the cranial fragmentation discovered and presence of a handgun are in line with a gunshot injury of the head.

The FBI’s Denver field office announced last month that it had completed its investigation into Petito’s death, which “did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito.”

The office also said authorities had recovered a notebook near Laundrie’s remains that “revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”

The case involving Petito and Laundrie gained national attention, with onlookers eager to learn more details about the mysterious disappearance and death.

The Moab City Police Department located in Utah came under fire last month when an independent review determined that officers made “several mistakes” when responding to an August call that Laundrie had physically struck Petito on the side of a road.

The report said the two officers who responded to the scene — Eric Pratt and Daniel Robbins — did not properly denote the policy report as a domestic violence incident and file it with a prosecuting attorney, in addition to other charges. The investigator said he believed the errors were unintentional.

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