Petito and Laundrie

Criminal Charges for Brian Laundrie’s Parents? Family Lawyer Says FBI Had ‘Conversations’ About It

A family attorney has been addressing questions in connection with Brian Laundrie, a Florida fugitive who disappeared after reportedly leaving his fiancee, Gabby Petito, in Wyoming, where she was found deceased.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Brian Laundrie was wanted on a felony warrant following the death of 22-year-old Petito. Laundrie and Petito embarked on their cross-country trip in July, but by September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home with Gabby’s van, but without Gabby.

On September 19, authorities found Gabby’s deceased body in a remote area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. According to Teton County coroner, Dr. Blue, Gabby died from strangulation; her death has been listed as a homicide.

Authorities issued the warrant for Laundrie after he allegedly used a Capitol One Bank debit card without permission following Gabby’s death. Laundrie is said to have used the card between August 30 and September 1, “knowingly and with intent to defraud.”

After arriving at his parents’ home, Laundrie stayed until September 13; that’s when he told his parents he was going to the Carlton Reserve in Florida to clear his head and get some fresh air. Weeks passed without a word from Laundrie, and speculation continued to surface that his parents had helped him escape.

On Thursday, the FBI announced that Laundrie’s remains were found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida.

While discussing the outcome of the case and if Laundrie’s parents could possibly face charges, Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino to NBC News Now that he hasn’t been given any reason to believe that.

“I have no reason to believe that. I can tell you conversations were had several weeks ago with the FBI with respect to certain charges. When questioned, and when communications were had between myself and the FBI, I think it was realized charges were not appropriate.”

“There was never a threat; there was never a coercion, there was never a deal cut. There are always conversations about how the case may play out. The Laundries have been cooperating with law enforcement – both locally and federally – from day one with respect to Brian.”

Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Mark O’Mara told Nation News Now that he also thinks the chances of charges against the Laundrie parents are slight.

“All of the criminal charges are going to be extraordinarily difficult to prove for the government,” O’Mara said. “One, they don’t have Brian’s testimony. If he’s passed, obviously, and (the) Laundries themselves are not going to testify about what they knew or didn’t know.

“So we would all have to be from outside or extraneous evidence that somehow they can prove by their actions, maybe by phone messages, maybe by some forensic evidence, that there was ongoing contact.”

Check back for updates.

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