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Florida police reveal when Brian Laundrie most likely died

Florida police say Brian Laundrie was likely dead when police mistook his mother for him

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito together in a photo.
Florida police said Brian Laundrie was likely dead when police mistook his mother for him.
North Port Police Department

When did Brian Laundrie die? We still don’t know, but authorities have offered a hint at when Laundrie might have died amid the Gabby Petito disappearance case.

Joshua Taylor, public information officer for the North Port Police, told People magazine “there is a very good possibility” Laundrie died two days after his fiance, Gabby Petito, was reported missing.

Petito and Laundrie had been on a cross-country road trip during the summer. But only Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s white van. On Sept. 11, Petito’s family reported her missing.

Laundrie reportedly left his home on Sept. 13, and was never seen again until his body was found on Oct. 20.

Earlier this week, authorities said they started to monitor Laundrie’s home when Petito was reported missing. Authorities said they mistook Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, for Brian on Sept. 13, as I wrote for the Deseret News. They thought Brian Laundrie returned home from his hike in his red Mustang, but it was actually Roberta.

Taylor told People magazine “this misidentification did not have a big impact on costs and the investigation.”

“Other than confusion, it likely changed nothing,” he added. “There is a very good possibility that Brian was already deceased. He still needed to be found. We just wanted people to better understand why we thought we knew Brian was in his home.”

Laundrie’s death comes about one month after police found Petito’s body in a Wyoming national forest on Sept. 19. A coroner confirmed she died by strangulation.

Police had been searching for Laudnrie since that time. Most of the efforts were centered on the Carlton Reserve in Florida. His body was eventually found there at T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, said in a statement to NBC News that “no manner or cause of death was determined” after the autopsy.

Laundrie’s remains were sent to an anthropologist “for further evaluation,” according to NBC News.