The investigation into Brian Laundrie’s death continues with the FBI digging into the fugitive’s digital footprint in an attempt to close the Gabby Petito case. The Independent reports that the FBI is piecing together Laundrie’s “digital footprint,” using his movements and communications in the days before his death as clues to solve the case. Laundrie’s remains are still being examined by a forensic anthropologist in order to determine his cause of death, and law enforcement is trying to repair a notebook found in a dry bag near his corpse.
Using the notebook, his texts and emails, use of social media, and internet browsing history prior to his death, the authorities hope to find some of the missing pieces to this case. “I think the FBI knows a lot of those questions and they will be resolved,” NewsNation Correspondent Brian Entin posited. “If they close the case those documents will be available through public record searches.” Petito’s family has made it clear that they believe that they suspect Laundrie of impersonating her in text messages after her death, so this information is critical to the investigation.
A Florida sheriff provided an update on Laundrie’s cause of death, two weeks after the missing man’s remains were found in a state park. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman spoke at a law enforcement forum last week, praising the work of North Port, Florida Police Chief Todd Garrison and his team. “We talked probably 20 times during that situation and obviously we supported them out in the preserve looking for Brian Laundrie,” Hoffman said.
Sheriff Hoffman then added, “That guy went out there and by all accounts probably committed suicide and he was right out there where we thought he was. There was four feet of water out there at the time.” Laundrie was reported missing by his family on Sept. 17. They told authorities that he left home on Sept. 14 but never returned. His disappearance came just days before the body of Petito was found by authorities in Wyoming. Her family reported her missing on Sept. 11, after not hearing from her for nearly two weeks.
According to reports, Petito and Laundrie had set off on a cross-country trip in June. Near the end of August, Petito reportedly began to be less communicative before sending one last text on Aug. 30, which her family questions the authenticity of, as they feel it may not have been sent by her. Laundrie returned home to North Port on Sept. 1 but reportedly was unwilling to cooperate with police on the investigation of Petito’s disappearance. Laundrie was never an official suspect in Petito’s death, but he was considered a person of interest. Authorities engaged in an extensive search for Laundrie, and eventually confirmed on Oct. 21 that his remains had been discovered.