Brian Laundrie's family hid the fact that he may have been armed because they didn't want the 'public going into a frenzy,' lawyer says

·2-min read
Brian Laundrie in the desert with a cop behind him
Brian Laundrie, left, on police camera footage near Arches National Park.The Moab Police Department via AP
  • Brian Laundrie's family didn't disclose to the public that a gun was missing from their home.

  • Their lawyer, Steven Bertolino, told DailyMail.com they didn't want people to panic.

  • It is unclear whether Laundrie took the missing gun.

Brian Laundrie's family hid the fact that he may have been armed because they didn't want the "public going into a frenzy," their lawyer told DailyMail.com.

A Florida medical examiner said on Tuesday that Laundrie, 23, who went missing for weeks after the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Laundrie was the sole person of interest in Petito's disappearance and death.

Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, told Insider' Natalie Musumeci on Tuesday that on the same day Laundrie was reported missing — September 17 — his parents had also surrendered five or six guns they stored in their home, but one was missing.

It is not clear whether Laundrie took the missing gun, or whether it was the one he used to kill himself.

Bertolino told DailyMail that the family didn't want to disclose this earlier because they didn't want the information to cause panic.

"We didn't want the public going into a frenzy on that," Bertolino told DailyMail.com. "I don't think they considered him dangerous to anybody he met on the street."

Laundrie's skeletal remains were found on October 20 at Florida's vast Carlton Reserve, near a backpack, a dry bag, and a notebook, authorities said at the time. It is also unclear whether there was a gun among his belongings.

Laundrie was never charged with harming or killing Petito, though an arrest warrant alleged that he spent $1,000 on an "unauthorized" debit card days after Petito's death. Petito's family lawyer later said the card belonged to Petito.

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