KEY POINTS

  • Brian had been in a bad state of mind on the day he disappeared, says the Laundrie family’s attorney
  • An initial autopsy of his skeletal remains failed to establish a cause of death
  • Brian Laundrie was the sole person of interest in the death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito

Brian Laundrie, the sole person of interest in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito, had indicated that he was going for a hike during the last conversation he had with his parents on Sept. 13, according to the family’s attorney. 

During an interview with East Idaho News on Friday, Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, revealed that Brian, 23, had informed his parents of his plans to go hiking on the day he disappeared. 

However, Bertolino added that Brian’s father Chris observed that his son was in a “bad state of mind.” At that time, police officers had already been searching for Petito, whose family reported her missing two days prior.

“Brian had said that he was going out for a hike, that he had packed his backpack. Chris and Roberta didn’t think too much about it because he was always going out on hikes. He was a young man, very independent,” Bertolino told the publication. 

“Brian to my knowledge was never quote ‘suicidal,’ and ultimately he was in a bad state of mind when he left. Chris (Laundrie) had conveyed that to me. Chris has said, ‘I wish I didn’t let him walk out of the door.’”

Chris and Roberta Laundrie later reported their son missing on Sept. 17, noting that he went out to go hiking at nearby Carlton Reserve. His skeletal remains were found on Oct. 20 at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook.

It is still unclear how Brian died. An initial autopsy of his skeletal remains failed to establish a cause of death. The fugitive’s bones have been sent to a forensic anthropologist for further examination, Bertolino told Fox News on Friday.

The discovery of Brian’s body last week ended more than a month of speculation about his whereabouts. 

Brian and Gabby Petito, 22, had embarked on a cross-country trip together when the young man came home alone in his fiancée’s car on Sept. 1. Authorities discovered Petito’s body at an underdeveloped camping site in Wyoming on Sept. 19. An autopsy report ruled her cause of death as homicide by manual strangulation or throttling.

Prior to his death, a federal court in Wyoming also issued a warrant for his arrest on Sept. 23 for illegally using Petito’s credit card to make a purchase of at least $1,000 between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

In bodycam images from August 2021, Gabrielle Petito speaks with police after an argument with boyfriend Brian Laundrie In bodycam images from August 2021, Gabrielle Petito speaks with police after an argument with boyfriend Brian Laundrie Photo: Moab City Police Department / Handout