The remains of Brian Laundrie will be sent to a forensic anthropologist for testing with the cause of death expected to be released next week, family attorney Steven Bertolino said Friday.
Bertolino confirmed to Law&Crime reporter Angenette Levy that the Sarasota County Medical Examiner sent Laundrie’s bones for an analysis of how and when he died. The lawyer continued that the cause and manner of death would not be released on Friday but could come some time next week.
Speaking on behalf of his clients Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Bertolino also dismissed social media rumors that the Laundries planted evidence or did anything illegal while searching for their son on Wednesday with police.
“A lot of people have been asking, ‘How did they know where to go?’ and I keep repeating that this was the beginning of the trail right near the access of the trailhead and the parking lot to the park, and they started down that trail, and as they were able to go off into the woods, they did so, checking in a zigzag fashion, looking for certain items when Chris came across a light dry bag, and about the same time, law enforcement came across a backpack and some remains,” Bertolino said.
During a Thursday night interview with NewsNation Prime Bertolino called the accusations “maddening,” “ludicrous” and “bulls**t.” He also blamed protestors outside of the Laundrie home for creating a “ruckus” as his clients grieve the death of their son.
The FBI located partial human remains near Florida’s Carlton Reserve on Wednesday when law enforcement and Laundrie’s parents searched an area that was previously underwater. Chris Laundrie found his son’s white bag on one side of the trail while police located the remains near a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie.
At the time, Bertolino said that it was highly likely the remains also belonged to the 23-year-old who had been missing for more than five weeks. The family’s fears were confirmed Thursday afternoon when some of the remains, a portion of a human skull, matched Laundrie’s dental records.
His parents reported him missing September 17 after he left for a hike on September 13 and never returned. That was also the last day Bertolino had a privileged conversation with Brian, the lawyer said Thursday.
Bertolino, a friend of Chris Laundrie’s for more than 25 years, said he was hired by the family after law enforcement began asking questions about the disappearance of Brian’s fiancée 22-year-old Gabby Petito.
The couple had been traveling together across the country in a van but Laundrie returned to their Florida home September 1 without her. Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later but had not communicated with the young woman since late August.
Authorities located Petito’s body September 19 in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming and her death was ruled a homicide by strangulation. The corner’s office estimated she died three or four weeks before she was found.
Laundrie was named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance and a federal warrant was issued after he allegedly used a debit card and personal identification number without authorization.
The FBI officially named Laundrie a person of interest in Petito’s murder on Wednesday after his now-identified remains were found.
Newsweek reached out to Bertolino for comment.