According to his family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, the 23-year-old fugitive died by suicide, having shot himself in the head, alone in the swamp. Bertolino specifically mentioned the family of Gabby Petito in his statement, saying his clients were “hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families.”
Related: Weighing The Brian Laundrie Conspiracy Theories Still Out There
We said immediately we were doubtful this was closure for anyone. As we’ve reported, those close to the murdered YouTuber all made it clear they wanted Laundrie brought in peacefully — to answer questions about what happened to Gabby.
So how are her family really reacting to this long expected news? A family friend provided a statement to The Independent which made it clear that for Gabby’s father and stepmother, Joe and Tara Petito, and mother and stepfather, Nichole and Jim Schmidt, nothing is over:
“The Schmidt and Petito family has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby’s murder.”
Whoa. They used the word “suspect.” Huh. The brief message continued in such a way that made it sound very much like the case is far from closed:
“Gabby’s family will not be making a statement at this time due to the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Whoa, what? That sounds like this case is still considered open, beyond just waiting for the death certificate! Yep, as the statement continued:
“The family was asked to not comment and let the FBI continue their investigation and allow the US Attorney’s Office make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged.”
“Any additional individuals.” They don’t have to say it. We know right away they’re likely referring to Brian’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, who refused to aid police after Gabby was initially reported missing. We mean, the girl lived with them for a couple years — and they didn’t want to help find her? It’s almost as if they knew she was dead before she was even discovered, no?
The Laundries made themselves look awfully suspicious right from the start with how they kept what they knew from police. The mere fact they found their son so fast after a monthlong search turned up nothing seemingly proves they had a better idea where he was than they let on earlier. But does this mean they’ll face charges for keeping that information to themselves?
It sounds like Gabby’s family think so…
[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram/FOX13/YouTube.]