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Laundrie parents knew gun was missing from home but information was not made public, lawyer says

The parents made the discovery on Sept. 17 when they voluntarily surrendered all their firearms to law enforcement, according to family attorney Steven Bertolino.

NORTH PORT, Fla — Days after authorities confirmed that Brian Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, more information surrounding the investigation into his disappearance is being revealed. 

According to family attorney Steven Bertolino, both Chris and Roberta, Laundrie's parents, knew one of their guns was missing the day they reported to authorities that their son had disappeared.

Bertolino says the parents made the discovery on Sept. 17 when they voluntarily surrendered all their firearms to law enforcement. At the time, they noticed a handgun was not in its case. 

Bertolino says both he and law enforcement felt it was best not to make the discovery public information.

"Imagine, with a frenzied atmosphere at the time, if the public thought Brian had a gun," Bertolino said in a text message to 10 Tampa Bay. "I can't speak to why [law enforcement] didn't reveal the info but we spoke about it at the time and believe they felt as I did."

He added that he still doesn't know if a gun was found near Laundrie's remains.

10 Tampa Bay reached out to the North Port Police Department and FBI for comment. 

The update on Laundrie's death this week came more than a month since his skeletal remains were found on Oct. 20 at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Sarasota County and later identified through a comparison of dental records.

Laundrie was the only person of interest in the homicide case of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. 

The 23-year-old man was reported missing on Sept. 17 after his parents said he went for a hike on Sept. 13 and never returned home. Detectives and FBI agents searched the vast Carlton Reserve area for more than a month, looking in the only place they had seen a sign of Laundrie. 

His parents helped search the reserve twice, each time with North Port officers. On their second attempt on Oct. 20, Laundrie's father found a drybag and brought it to the officers. Authorities then say they found skeletal remains nearby, along with a notebook and other personal items.

The FBI positively identified Laundrie's remains a day after on Oct. 21. His notebook is now a key piece of evidence in his death investigation. 

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