Brian Laundrie will be cremated, and there will be no funeral, according to Christopher and Roberta Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertolino.
“No manner or cause of death was determined,” the lawyer told NBC News.
Bertolino did not give a timeline for the anthropologist’s report, which is part of the ongoing FBI investigation into the murder of Laundrie’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabby Petito — an investigation for which the trail is going colder every day.
Cremation, No Funeral for Brian Laundrie
The attorney added that the remains will ultimately be returned to the family for cremation.
Brian’s parents Chris and Roberta Laundrie reportedly have no funeral plans for their late 23-year-old son, but may hold a “private ceremony” later on.
Any public memorial would likely face disruption and pushback. Protestors have maintained a regular presence at the family’s North Port, Florida home since the disappearance of Gabby Petito became a national news story in September, and demonstrations are reportedly continuing even after the search for Brian Laundrie concluded last week.
Chris Laundrie was seen setting up “no trespassing” signs on the edge of the property Friday, to little effect.
Also spotted at the Laundrie home Friday was a delivery truck bearing floral arrangements, as the family mourns Brian’s death.
No Answers From Brian Laundrie Autopsy
Brian Laundrie’s remains, which law enforcement sources have described as “bones” and including “a portion of a human skull,” were found on Wednesday at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, a nature area that borders the Carlton Reserve near North Port, Florida, near a backpack and notebook that belonged to 23-year-old.
On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that dental records confirmed the remains were Laundrie’s.
But despite the speedy identification process, the advanced state of decay has apparently made a cause of death difficult to determine.
Without any remaining soft tissue, medical examiners must make a determination based only on the bones, which do not always bear traces of the cause of death.
“If it turns out that it was something that only affected soft tissue, or if it’s something that involves only toxicology, then I think that’s where the question remains in terms of what they’ll be able to figure out,” Dr. Erin Kimmerle, an associate professor of forensic anthropology at the University of Southern Florida, told NewsNation Now on Sunday.
Officials have not characterized the remains, other than to call them “skeletal,” and have not announced whether any soft tissue is available for study.
Some forensic experts, including famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, said that even in cases where remains are “skeletonized […] still, usually there’s enough soft tissue remaining” to allow further investigation. But the inconclusive autopsy report Monday seems to close the door on that possibility.
Others said they feared the advanced decay meant that the cause of Brian Laundrie’s death would never be fully determined.
“There might not be a way to determine how he died,” Jim Clemente, a former FBI profiler, told CNN. “If he drowned, for example, there wouldn’t be any evidence of that on his skeleton.”
Laundrie was last seen leaving his home on Sept. 13, when he told his parents he was going to hike near the Carlton Reserve. Two days prior, his girlfriend Gabby Petito was declared missing after Laundrie returned without her from a road trip on Sept. 1. Her body was found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19, and an autopsy later revealed she was strangled to death.
Authorities had issued a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest for bank fraud that was allegedly committed after Petito’s death. He was not officially a suspect in her murder, though investigators called him the only “person of interest” in her death for the first time on the same day his remains were discovered.