Brian Laundrie's family was, reportedly, aware that a firearm was missing from their home days before Laundrie went missing. The family's lawyer just revealed to the public the shocking fact, raising questions on why they did not inform law enforcement officers and reinforcing talks that they actively protected Laundrie from being arrested.
The family's lawyer, Steve Bertolino, said that Laundrie'e parents had surrendered their guns to law enforcement on Sept. 17, the same day their son went missing. However, Bertolino revealed that they weren't able to disclose to the public during that time that one of their handguns was missing.
Bertolino reasoned that he and the family weren't able to disclose the fact due to the "frenzied atmosphere" at the time. The Gabby Petito case was still making headlines during that time, and the family was facing scrutiny from the public and law enforcement.
"Imagine, with the frenzied atmosphere at the time, if the public thought Brian had a gun. I cannot speak to why (law enforcement) did not reveal the info, but we spoke about it at the time, and I believe they felt as I did," Bertolino said.
It was revealed last week that the 23-year-old Laundrie had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Laundrie was the person of interest related to the murder of his 22-year-old fiance, who was found dead in Wyoming in September.
The couple was on a trip together to explore the country in a van, which was chronicled in Petito's social media accounts. The two spent time in different states, with Petito uploading photos and videos of their time together in Florida, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah.
When they were in Utah, the couple were stopped by police after receiving reports of disorderly conduct. They also received reports of a couple involved in an altercation and of a man hitting a woman. When they were stopped, the couple defended each other and said they were in love and engaged to be married. Police noticed that Laundrie had some visible scratches on his face, arm, and neck. Police nearly arrested Petito, but neither wanted to press charges.
Laundrie later went back home, without Petito, and claimed that he was there to "obtain some items" and to close down their storage unit so they could save some money. He claimed that the two were planning to extend their trip and that he was flying back to Utah to "rejoin Gabby."
A coroner in Wyoming determined that Petito had died by strangulation and died roughly three to four weeks before her remains were found. Just a month later, Laundrie's remains were found at a Florida preserve.