Brian Laundrie's Family Lawyer Says Parents 'Knew He Was Grieving' Days Before Gabby Petito's Body Was Found
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Brian Laundrie's parents' lawyer, Steven Bertolino, told a US news reporter that he was "grieving" when he left his family home on September 13th, following Gabby Petito's disappearance.
Speaking to WABC Channel 7 presenter Kristin Thorne in a candid interview, of which a short clip was shared on social media, Bertolino was asked whether Brian's parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, feared he would hurt himself when he left their Florida home.
And he replied: "Chris and Roberta knew that their son Brian was grieving... was so upset, and, you know, they just couldn't control that he was leaving and he left.
"He walked out the door."
He added: "Chris said to me 'I wish I could have stopped him, but I couldn't.'"
Brian Laundrie's family reported him missing on September 17th, originally telling officers that they had last seen him on the 14th, and later backtracking to confirm that he actually left home on the 13th.
However, Gabby's body wasn't found until the 19th of the same month, meaning Bertolino's interview raised some questions.
Namely, why was Laundrie allegedly grieving if Gabby hadn't been announced dead yet?
Reacting to the clip, which Kristin Thorne shared on Twitter, one person wrote: "The lawyer admitting that Brian was grieving is huge."
Meanwhile, another penned: "Why would he be grieving on the 13th when at that point we didn’t know Gabby was dead?"
Some people suggested that the lawyer may have meant that Laundrie was grieving the end of his relationship with Gabby.
However, the word grieving specifically means: "a feeling of great sadness, especially when someone dies", according to the Oxford Learners Dictionary.
No further comment has been offered from Bertolino on the context of his comment.
Remains confirmed to be Laundrie's, were found by the FBI at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida, on Wednesday.
Laundrie, who returned to his home in Florida from a cross-country road trip on August 31 without his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, had been cited as a 'person of interest' in the case.
Investigators had previously searched a Florida nature preserve to find Laundrie, but did not find him, saying they "exhausted all avenues in searching the grounds" of the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County.
The area where they eventually found Laundrie's remains was under water when the first search took place.