The parents of Brian Laundrie, whose remains have been found at a Florida nature reserve, said the former fugitive was “very upset” before he left their home for the last time — and his dad felt helpless when he couldn’t stop him from leaving, the family’s lawyer said.
“I can tell you Brian was very upset when he left,” Steven Bertolino told NBC News on Thursday, hours after the skeletal remains found at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County were determined to belong to Gabby Petito’s boyfriend.
“Chris conveyed to me several times he wished he wouldn’t have let him go, but he couldn’t stop him,” the lawyer added, according to the Sun.
Bertolino said on NBC News that this has been a painful saga for the parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, who had been summoned to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday after some of their son’s items were found.
“But Brian is a grown man. He was 22 years old. He wanted to walk out the door, he was entitled to walk out the door,” he said, though Brian was actually 23.
Bertolino said the Laundries were hurting after they found out that one of their two children “has just been confirmed as dead” through the use of dental records.
“There are two young people that have now lost their lives,” he said, referring to Brian and Petito, whose body was found at a remote Wyoming campground last month.
“These are parents that are suffering. Now, I understand that whatever happened or whatever didn’t happen … This is tragic for two families,” the lawyer continued. “And anybody with a child, and anybody with a sense of humanity can understand the frustration that both families feel on that point.”
Laundrie’s parents had said their son went for a hike in the reserve on Sept. 13 and never returned.
Cops said Laundrie’s body had been submerged for weeks after heavy rains flooded parts of the park last month and that it was exposed as the waters receded in recent weeks.
The water made it difficult for cadaver dogs to sniff out decaying remains, experts say.