The Sarasota Medical Examiner’s office has released the official autopsy report for doomed “van-lifer” Brian Laundrie, revealing new details about his death.
The report, conducted by District 12 deputy chief medical examiner Dr. Wilson Broussard, states that Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. When the FBI finally found him days into his disappearance, he was discovered near a European American Arms revolver, which was marked as a .38 special on one side of the barrel and as a .357 magnum on the other, the report states.
“The cylinder contained two live rounds and one spent round of ammunition,” the report states, noting that Laundrie had been partly eaten by animals by the time his remains were discovered in a Florida swamp.
Confirming an account made by an attorney representing Laundrie’s family after his remains were discovered in October, the report provides new details into how authorities found the 23-year-old at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. At the time, Laundrie was charged in the disappearance and death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito, in a case that garnered national attention.
Shortly after Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11, Laundrie returned home to Florida before he himself vanished just seven days later. Petito’s remains were eventually found in a Wyoming national park on Sept. 19, after authorities say she died by strangulation.
The FBI previously revealed that Laundrie claimed responsibility for Petito’s death in a notebook found near the body. Last month, Wyoming federal prosecutors dismissed charges against Laundrie.
The full autopsy report for Laundrie notes that when authorities found him on Oct. 21, 2021, they discovered his remains in plain sight along a trail in the Carlton Reserve. There was evidence that approximately three feet of water had kept Laundrie’s remains hidden from investigators for weeks.
Much of Laundrie’s corpse had “moderately extensive carnivore activity evidenced by multiple gouging and gnawing marks,” according to the medical examiner. “These areas are consistent with carnivores and/or omnivores including canines such as feral dogs and coyotes along with rodents and raccoons.”
The remains included a “right and left scapulae, right humerus, right femur, two tibiae, two fibulae, two clavicles, two pelvic bones, the sacrum, one right ulna, one right radius, and multiple ribs” the report continues. “Also, multiple fragments of cranium and skull along with a generally intact mandible with attached teeth and the lower aspect of the maxilla with attached teeth are noted. Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae are also located nearby.”
Investigators had to confirm Laundrie’s identity using dental records and DNA analysis.
Among Laundrie’s personal effects were a pair of green shorts, two slip-on shoes, a white metal ring, and the rusted handgun. A few feet away, searchers discovered a green backpack, a tent, and flares, as well as a piece of paper and a red hat with the logo “Moab Coffee Roasters.” About 150 feet southwest of the area, cops found “a journal along with a wooden box that contained a small notebook and photographs, some of the photos include Brian Laundrie.” Laundrie was in one of the photos, the report states.