NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Steven Bertolino, attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family, has revealed that knowledge of a missing gun from the Laundrie family home was kept from the public.
Tuesday, a medical examiner revealed Brian Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to head after he disappeared during the search for his fianceé, Gabby Petito.
Bertolino said at the time of Brian Laundrie’s disappearance that his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, gave their guns to police on Sept. 17 while officers completed the missing persons paperwork. During the transfer, it was learned that a handgun was missing from its case.
“Both (law enforcement) and myself felt it was best for that information not to be public,” Bertolino said in a statement.
“Imagine, with the frenzied atmosphere at the time, if the public thought Brian had a gun,” he added. “I can’t 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.”
While Brian Laundrie’s belongings and notebook were found with his remains, the FBI nor North Port police have said if there was a gun recovered from the Carlton Reserve.
“I do not know if a gun was found near Brian’s remains and possessions,” Bertolino said. “You would have to confirm that with (law enforcement).”
Bertolino’s remarks come amid discussions concerning possible charges for those who may have aided or abetted Brian Laundrie’s attempts to evade police.
A lawyer for the family of Gabby Petito also suggested possible charges for “additional individuals” in a statement shared earlier this week.
“The family was asked to not make any comments and let the FBI continue their investigation,” said Rick Stafford, the Petito family attorney. “The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged.”