Just over a week since Brian Laundrie was confirmed dead by authorities, we now have a possible update on the suspected killer.
According to a sheriff in Florida, Laundrie likely died by his own hand.
Which is to say: it’s believed that he committed suicide.
While the preliminary results of Laundrie’s autopsy have been inconclusive, North Port, Florida Police Chief Todd Garrison spoke out about the case at a community gathering this past Friday night.
Garrison was serving as a panelist at a law enforcement forum at the South County Tiger Bay Club on that date when he was asked by the moderator to discuss the case.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Garrison admitted to the mistakes in his agency’s investigation … most notably the fact that during surveillance they once mistook Laundrie’s mother, Roberta, for her son.
"Yes, we made a mistake," he said "It was human error, but I still stand behind my team."
Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman then jumped in to defend the department, stating at one point:
"That guy went out there and by all accounts probably committed suicide and he was right out there where we thought he was," Sheriff Hoffman added.
"There was four feet of water out there at the time."
As a quick refresher:
Laundrie was the subject of a nationwide search after the death of Gabby Petito, a 22-year old vlogger whose body was found in Wyoming in September.
She and Laundrie had been dating at the time of her disappearance, which took place toward the end of a months-long trip they were on around the country.
Authorities have said Petito died by strangulation, labeling her death a homicide.
Laundrie was eventually named a person of interest in Petito’s case.
In the weeks since Petito vanished, the public learned that police were called at one point this August on Laundrie after an onlooker alleged he had struck his girlfriend in the face.
Brian was allegedly last seen on September 13, when he left his parents’ North Port home, claiming he was going on a hike in the park in which his body was later found.
During the event late last week, chief Garrison stood up for his team and for the hard work they did over the past couple months.
"I can tell you one thing," Garrison said, according to the Herald-Tribune.
"The amount of work that was done, behind the scenes, 24 hours a day, from our team and the FBI team working on the second floor of the police department, was phenomenal work."
Just a tragic case overall.
May Gabby Petito rest in peace.