Brian Laundrie’s remains were sent to an anthropologist “for further evaluation” after autopsy results came back inconclusive, according to the family’s attorney.
“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Steven Bertolino said in a statement to NBC News.
Human remains were found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve on Wednesday after more than a month of searching for Laundrie, who was a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, before her body was discovered in Wyoming. The remains, described as “skeletal” by the North Port Police Department, were confirmed to be Laundrie’s after a review of dental records, officials said Thursday.
According to the FBI, the remains were found alongside personal items, such as a backpack and a notebook, belonging to Laundrie.
His parents helped lead the FBI and North Port police to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Bertolino previously said.
He has rejected the notion that the Laundrie family knew their son might disappear or that they struck a deal with prosecutors to help in the search. He said that, as their lawyer, he had personally advised the parents not to speak with law enforcement.
The Carlton Reserve and neighboring Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which are connected to one another, are short drives north of the Laundrie family home.
Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, were traveling across the country, chronicling their journey in their van on social media. But Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port home without her on Sept. 1, authorities have said.
During the search for Petito, police in Moab City, Utah, released body camera video capturing a distraught Petito after an alleged physical altercation with Laundrie.
Petito’s body was discovered Sept. 19 at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Petito had been dead for at least three weeks and her death was ruled a homicide by “manual strangulation,” the coroner said.
Laundrie had been missing since mid-September when his parents said he went hiking in the Carlton Reserve and never returned. The 25,000-acre wildlife refuge was closed for extensive searches of the area and only reopened last week.
An arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie after authorities said he used Petito’s debit card without permission. He was a person of interest in the case and was not charged with Petito’s death.
The Petito case has generated enormous public interest but has also raised uncomfortable questions over the unequal media and law enforcement attention given to missing white women as compared to missing people of color. Petito was white.