NORTH PORT, Fla. (WJW)– The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie did several interviews following confirmation that his remains were discovered in a Florida reservation.
Laundrie was the center of a manhunt after the disappearance and death of his fiancée Gabby Petito. The couple was on a summer road trip in their van. Laundrie returned to Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito, whose remains discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Laundrie was last seen on Sept. 13 when he left for a hike, sparking a weeks-long search that ended when his remains were located in Carlton Reserve.
Family attorney Steven Bertolino told NewsNation how his clients and longtime friends, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, are coping with the news.
“I’ve been using the word distraught for the last couple of day now and they are extremely upset. And for some unknown reason there are still people outside of their home, yelling and screaming and causing a raucous, which any parents that’s grieving the loss of a child should not have to deal with,” Bertolino said.
He responded to the public’s questions about how Laundries’ parents found the remains, despite weeks of searching from trained law enforcement. Bertolino called theories the parents planted items “nonsensical.”
“When do you think these items were planted? And do you really think the Laundries had skeletal remains of their son in a plastic bag and brought them to the reserve? Do you realize how ludicrous that that is? How aggravated and maddening that is?” Bertolino said.
Bertolino said he spoke with Laundrie on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13. He would not elaborate on those conversations. When asked if the Laundrie family considered reaching out to the Petito family to help find Gabby, Bertolino said he couldn’t answer that.
“It’s not the appropriate time to have that conversation,” he told NewsNation. He shared similiar sentiments during his NBC News Interview. “Now is not the time to discuss the Gabby Petito case.”
Bertolino said he would not speculate on Laundrie’s cause of death. He said the man’s parents did not know he was going to disappear.
“What I can tell you is Brian was very upset when he left. And Chris conveyed to me several times that, you know, he wished he didn’t let him go, but he couldn’t stop him,” Bertolino told NBC News. “So this has been a painful saga for them since Sept. 13. It’s been a long haul. But Brian is a grown man, a young man, 22 (sic) years old. He wanted to walk out the door. He’s entitled to walk out the door.”