FBI: Brian Laundrie's writing claimed responsibility for Gabby Petito's death

Medical examiner: Brian Laundrie’s bones were under water, chewed by animals

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Mon, February 14th 2022, 3:42 PM EST)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WPEC) — Most of Brian Laundrie’s bones were recovered, and the medical examiner revealed animals chewed on them. That’s according to the full 47-page autopsy report, which has now been released and can be read below.

Laundrie had left Sarasota County, Florida on a cross-country road trip with his fiancé, Gabby Petito, in July.

Last month, investigators said Laundrie, 23, confessed to killing Petito, 22, before taking his own life. They said Laundrie’s written confession was in a notebook discovered in the same area as his remains.

In November, it was determined Laundrie died by suicide, specifically a gunshot wound to the head. That ruling was from the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office, which covers Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.

Now, the full autopsy report is in. Many pictures were included but they could not be shared, according to state law.

The report starts as a timeline.

“Apparent human skeletal remains” were found on the morning of Oct. 20 in the Carlton Reserve, north of the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, it says.

Search groups found a backpack and shoes that were Laundrie’s.

According to the report, “The personal belongings were surrounded by apparent skeletal remains that were scattered on top of the dirt ground.” Cadaver and electronic detection dogs helped by finding more remains.

By the time Laundrie’s remains were discovered, a massive search had been taking place for several weeks. It turned out the search area had been under about 3 feet of water.

Later that day, investigators decided to divide the search area into a “main” scene and a “secondary” scene. They marked both with orange flags for apparent remains and red flags for personal effects.

The “main” scene contained human remains, and an inventory of the types of bones and the number of each were described.

The “main” scene also contained “a pair of green shorts with a green belt, two slip-on shoes, a backpack with unknown contents, a white metal ring, and an unknown type of handgun (snub-nose revolver).

The “secondary” scene contained skeletal animal remains, a handwritten half note, and a hat with the logo “MOAB Coffee Roasters.”

Later, a drybag was located that contained a journal, along with a wooden box that contained a small notebook and pictures, including at least one of Brian Laundrie.

That night, the skeletal human remains were processed and taken to the Sarasota Medical Examiner Facility to be identified.

The next day, investigators contacted Laundrie’s dentist in New York for records. Also, they found more bones from his left arm in the “main” scene.

Then, they divided the “main” scene into three zones to sift for more remains. Zone 1 contained remains of the upper torso, upper extremities, and head. Zone 2 contained remains of the lower vertebrae and sacrum. Zone 3 contained remains of the left arm bones.

That afternoon, the forensic odontologist had positively identified the remains as Laundrie through the comparison of the antemortem, dental radiographs, and dentition to known dental records.

Laundrie was last seen alive Sept. 13 when he left his home residence to go hiking in the Carlton Reserve but didn’t return home. On Sept. 14, his car was found in the parking lot of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. On Sept. 17, he was reported to North Port Police Department as a missing person.

“During this time period, it rained for several days which caused portions of the Carlton Reserve to be flooded,” according to the report. On Oct. 7, the flooding had receded to the point where the Carlton reserve was hikeable again.”

On Oct. 26, the medical examiner contacted his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie. They told him “that their son was very healthy and had no known medical history, didn’t take any medications. When I asked about the decedent’s social history, Mr. and Mrs. laundry stated that they did not want to provide that information,” according to the report.

The gun taken from the scene “was a European American Arms, .38 special (on barrel), .357 magnum (other side of barrel). Based upon the markings and appearance, the firearm was a Windicator revolver. The cylinder contained two live rounds and one spent round of ammunition.”

On Nov. 9, investigators reconstructed Laundrie’s remains. On Nov. 11, “two sections of femur bone and a tooth (molar) were retained for DNA analysis.” On Nov. 19, DNA analysis confirmed the remains were Brian Laundrie.

As for how he died, the report says “The cranial fragmentation and presence of a handgun are consistent with a gunshot injury of the head.”

The only soft tissue found from Laundrie was “minimal partially calcified costal cartilage at the anterior aspects of some of the lower ribs.”

The skeletal remains were described this way:

“Multiple long bones including bones of the arms and legs all disclose carnivore predation activity characterized by gnawing and chewing, mostly on the distal ends of the long bones. The cranium is in multiple pieces and fragments. … Most of the bones have dark discoloration consistent with the dark soil material where the bones were recovered … Most of the distal long bones have moderately extensive carnivore activity evidenced by multiple gouging and gnawing marks. These areas are consistent with carnivores and/or omnivores including canines such as feral dogs and coyotes along with rodents and raccoons.”

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