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Representative for Brian Laundrie's family says no funeral will be held

1 month 1 week 1 day ago Monday, October 25 2021 Oct 25, 2021 October 25, 2021 5:02 AM October 25, 2021 in News
Source: CNN

The family of a recently deceased 23-year-old man who became the center of a nationwide manhunt when his fiancee went missing says his remains will be cremated and a funeral service will not be held, CNN reports.

Just over two months after 22-year-old Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie embarked on a YouTube-chronicled vanlife journey across the U.S., Petito was found strangled to death in a Wyoming forest and nearly a month later, Laundrie's remains were discovered in his homestate of Florida. 

After Petito was found slain in Wyoming's Bridger–Teton National Forest on September 19, authorities tried to catch up with her missing fiancé, Laundrie, in hopes that he would be able to shed light on what happened to Petito in the days leading up to her death.  

But after Laundrie's remains were found Wednesday (October 20) in a Florida reserve that authorities had been searching for over a month, it became evident that a number of questions in the tragic case would have to wait to be answered.

Though officials now know how Petito died, the quandary of her killer's identity has yet to be solved. 

Teton County, Wyoming, Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that Petito's death was the result of  manual strangulation/throttling. Blue also said that her body had likely been in the wilderness for about three to four weeks before it was discovered.

Laundrie's cause of death is yet another question that awaits an answer. 

An autopsy of his remains came back inconclusive, an attorney for the family said Sunday.

"Brian Laundrie's autopsy has not provided a manner or cause of death and his remains are now being transferred to an anthropologist," attorney Steven Bertolino told CNN.

Authorities have not connected Laundrie to Petito's death, but they say he was among the last to see her alive.

The two took off for their cross-country trek on July 2 and on September 1, Laundrie returned to their North Point, Florida home without Petito.

"Two people went on a trip, and one person returned," North Port Police chief Todd Garrison said in September.

Personal items discovered along with Laundrie's remains may aid investigators in their search for the truth. The items included a backpack and a notebook that officials hope will clarify his feelings about Petito and about what happened in Wyoming.

According to CNN, investigators also obtained a search warrant last month for an external hard drive they found in Petito's white van, which is the vehicle the couple used for their trip.

Authorities have yet to share details related to what was found on the drive.

Investigators are also taking into consideration eyewitness accounts from Utah authorities who reported that back in August, Laundrie and Petito were "engaged in some sort of altercation."

The two allegedly got into a physical fight after an argument.

Despite the violence and the fact that police body camera footage showed Petito crying uncontrollably as she talked to local authorities, one of the officers wrote in their report, "they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn't wish to see anyone charged with a crime."

As the investigation continues, authorities hope to soon find conclusive answers to the lingering questions surrounding the tragic case. 

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