The parents of Brian Laundrie, who died by suicide as authorities investigated his alleged role in the killing of his fiancee and Blue Point native Gabrielle Petito, are seeking control of their son's estimated $20,000 estate, according to court documents filed in Sarasota County, Florida.
Laundrie's parents — Christopher and Roberta Laundrie — have petitioned the court for access to Laundrie's approximately $20,000 in Bank of America checking and savings accounts in probate court. Laundrie did not have a will or any debts, according to the documents filed Dec. 8. The parents are seeking a 50-50 split of their son's assets.
"It's just a procedural formality to close out Brian's estate," said Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino. The Laundries are represented in the pending probate case by William Galarza, a Sarasota attorney, who did not immediately respond to a message.
The remains of Laundrie, 23, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, were found Oct. 20 in a Florida park where he liked to hike, along with a backpack and notebook — a month after the remains of Petito were found in a Wyoming national forest. Petito, 22, died by manual strangulation, officials said.
Laundrie, who was named a "person of interest" in Petito's homicide, was never charged in connection with her death.
As part of the probate court action, the Laundrie's attorney submitted their son's death certificate, which was issued Nov. 30. The death certificate said Laundrie was cremated at the Southwest Crematory in Punta Gorda, Florida, after his remains were found at 8:20 a.m. on Oct. 20. His death occurred in a "wooded area," the certificate said. His parents, accompanied by law enforcement, were searching the area when the discovery was made. The medical examiner for Sarasota County has not released the autopsy report, citing the FBI investigation.
The death certificate also said Laundrie was born in Islip on Nov. 18, 1997, graduated high school or received a general equivalency diploma, was never married and never served in the armed forces. It lists Laundrie's occupation/industry as "artist, crafts and fine arts."
Laundrie and Petito, who were engaged, left Long Island in July on a cross-country road trip. The couple got into a physical altercation in mid-August in Utah, where police investigated domestic violence allegations, but no charges were filed. Laundrie returned alone in Petito’s van to their North Port, Florida, home on Sept. 1. After her family reported her missing 10 days later, Laundrie refused to speak to police.
Laundrie left his home on Sept. 13 to go hiking at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park but never returned. The Laundries noticed a pistol was missing from their home on Sept. 17, when they filed a missing persons report on their son, their attorney said. Officials have not said if that gun was used in the suicide.