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Brian Laundrie’s cause of death remains a mystery, family won’t hold funeral

The cause of death for Brian Laundrie is still a mystery after the initial autopsy was inconclusive, the Associated Press reported. Steven Bertolino, the lawyer for the Laundrie family, said that Laundrie’s remains will eventually be cremated, but the family doesn’t plan to hold a funeral.

Skeletal remains were discovered last week in a Florida nature preserve and later positively identified as Laundrie using dental records, according to the FBI. Bertolino said in text messages Monday that a more intensive examination will be conducted on Laundrie’s remains because the Sarasota County medical examiner’s autopsy did not generate a firm verdict on his cause of death, the AP reported.

“I was told the manner and cause of death were not determined and the remains were sent to an anthropologist [for] further evaluation,” Bertolino said.

The FBI and police searched intensively for Laundrie for more than a month after his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, was mysteriously killed sometime during the cross-country road trip the couple was taking together, according to the AP. Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, on Sunday morning reportedly left their home in North Port, Florida, where protesters had frequently gathered to demand the Laundrie family end their silence about Petito’s disappearance and death.

“The family is grieving privately somewhere in Florida,” Bertolino said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The cause of death for Brian Laundrie is still mystery after the initial autopsy was inconclusive. Above, Laundrie is seen talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park in Utah on August 12.
The Moab Police Department via AP

The medical examiner’s office declined comment Monday, as did the FBI office in Denver that is leading the probe.

No information has yet been released on what investigators found in a backpack and notebook found with Laundrie’s remains.

Petito, 22, was discovered slain last month on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the places the young couple had visited on the trip they documented through social media videos.

An autopsy in Wyoming concluded Petito died by strangulation and that it was a homicide. Laundrie, 23, was listed as a “person of interest” in her killing but he was charged only with fraudulent use of a debit card that was not his.

His remains were found in a nature preserve not far from his family’s home in North Port, where both he and Petito had been living. Both were originally from New York.

Laundrie returned home alone September 1 from his trip with Petito. Her body was found September 19 in the Wyoming park and authorities say it had been there for about a month.

Laundrie told his parents September 13 he was headed to the Carlton Reserve park in Sarasota County. That was the last publicly known contact anyone had with him.

Officers Announce Findings of Human Remains
The cause of death for Brian Laundrie still remains a mystery, and his family will not have a funeral for him. Above, Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson, left, announces that human remains and personal items belonging to Laundrie have been found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 20, in North Port, Florida.
Mark Taylor/Getty Images

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