North Port, FL – A gun belonging to Brian Laundrie’s parents was discovered to be missing when they reported his disappearance to police in September, according to their attorney.
Bertolino said Laundrie’s parents were planning to surrender their firearms to police on Sept. 17 when they realized one handgun was missing.
They immediately alerted North Port police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he said.
It is unclear why they wanted to voluntarily surrender their guns to law enforcement.
Bertolino claimed he and law enforcement agreed not to release information about the missing gun at the time because they felt “it was best for that information to not be public,” CNN reported.
“Imagine, with the frenzied atmosphere at the time, if the public thought Brian had a gun,” Bertolino told the news outlet.
“I cannot speak to why (law enforcement) did not reveal the info, but we spoke about it at the time and I believe they felt as I did,” he added.
Bertolino said he does not know if a gun was found near Laundrie’s remains or belongings, CNN reported.
The North Port Police Department and the FBI have not responded to a request for comment about Bertolino’s claims, according to CNN.
Laundrie’s remains were sent to a forensic anthropologist for further analysis after an autopsy came back inconclusive in mid-October.
They were identified as Laundrie’s remains using dental records, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a press release on Oct. 21.
Law enforcement officers wrapped up a monthlong search for Laundrie in the park and reopened the area to the public on Oct. 19, just one day before his remains were found, WFLA reported.
On the night of Oct. 19, Laundrie’s parents informed police they wanted to go back to the area themselves to look for him once again, WFLA reported.
Investigators accompanied the Laundries to the park the next morning and, after a “brief” search, came upon several “articles” that may belong to Laundrie, WFLA reported.
The skeletal remains were discovered near a backpack containing items belonging to Laundrie, according to the news outlet.
Her death has been ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal warrant for Laundrie’s arrest on Sept. 22 for use of unauthorized devices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver office announced in a press release.
But by then, Laundrie had disappeared.
During an interview on the Dr. Phil McGraw television show in October, Petito’s parents and step-parents said the warrant was the result of Laundrie stealing Petito’s bank card and using it “to get home and then [run] from the police,” WAGA reported.
The couple set off in Petito’s converted camper van in early July to tour U.S. national parks.
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said she last spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25.
Laundrie returned to his family’s North Port, Florida home in Petito’s van on Sept. 1, but she was not with him.
He refused to speak with police or Petito’s family about where he last saw her before he supposedly vanished while hiking in a Florida nature reserve on Sept. 14.
Laundrie’s parents claim they hadn’t spoken to him since then.
Petito’s body was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19.
The 160-acre, heavily-wooded Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park area is adjacent to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where Laundrie’s parents, Roberta and Christopher Laundrie, claimed their son disappeared while hiking, FOX News reported.
The couple initially told police Laundrie disappeared on Sept. 14, although they failed to report him as missing until Sept. 17.
They later changed their story after the North Port Police Department (NPPD) confirmed an officer had placed an abandoned vehicle notice on Laundrie’s car at the Carlton Reserve on Sept. 14, CNN reported.
The couple eventually claimed their son actually left their house on Sept. 13 – one day earlier than the date they gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), WAGA reported.
“The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” Bertolino said in a statement. “Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13.”
Bertolino further claimed Christopher Laundrie went out searching for his son the night of Sept. 13 after he failed to return home, according to CNN.
The couple said they also picked up Brian Laundrie’s car from the nature reserve a day earlier than they previously reported, WAGA reported.