Brian Laundrie was “grieving” and “so upset” when he left his parents’ house on Sept. 13 never to return. The 23-year-old told his parents he wanted to go for a hike at a nearby nature preserve. It was only days after the parents of his fiancee, Gabby Petito, reported her missing to the police.
Steve Bertolino said Chris and Roberta Laundrie tried to stop their son from leaving that day but couldn’t.
“They knew their son Brian was grieving,” he told reporter Kristin Thorne. “They knew he was so upset, and they couldn’t control that he was leaving. And he left. He walked out the door.”
Though, Bertolino didn’t say why Brian Laundrie was grieving and upset.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito left this summer on a planned, four-month trip to visit national parks across the country. But without notice, Laundrie returned home alone on Sept. 1, two months earlier than expected.
It’s unclear if Brian told his parents why he came home alone or if he knew where Petito was. But the FBI uncovered her body on Sept. 19 in a shallow grave at a Wyoming national park. A medical examiner said someone strangled her.
The FBI found the decomposing body of Brian Laundrie at Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Fla., on Thursday. Though agents haven’t said how or when Laundrie died.
Lawyer Says He Told Police Brian Laundrie Didn’t Return Home
“I don’t necessarily know what to believe anymore. I think it’s perfectly possible that they’re expressing what they know, […] but we’ll see,” police spokesman Josh Taylor told The Sun earlier this month. “We’ve said from the beginning there’s a lot of oddness here, a lot of things that just didn’t make sense.
“I mean your son walks out there, now they’re saying on a Monday, to report that on a Friday, and then be confused about what day that was. … There are a lot of things that are odd there.”
Steve Bertolino says he told FBI agents the day Brian left home that he didn’t return, he told Fox News.
Though that doesn’t explain why the family waited four days to file a missing person report.
“North Port PD was under the assumption that Brian was home, and so was the FBI when they got a tip on Friday that Brian was in Tampa, and they wanted to meet with us on Friday,” Bertolino said. “I was shocked and said, ‘That’s good. You found him in Tampa,’ and they said, ‘What do you mean? I thought he’s at the house.’ I said, ‘No, I told you the other day he never came home.'”
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said at a Sept. 16 press conference that police knew where Brian Laundrie was, implying they had no idea he’d disappeared days earlier. This conflicts with Bertolino’s timeline.