Forensic expert Joseph Scott Morgan said Laundrie could have died in any number of ways, but finding the answer will depend on the evidence that’s left.
“They’re actually saying partial skeletal remains. And I’ve even heard one report that the skull might be compromised in some way, that there might be some elements of the skull missing,” Morgan said. “So what do we do? Well, you don’t have any soft tissue, they’ve already stated that the body is skeletonized. And so … it’s going to be a very difficult task in order to identify something.”
However, Morgan noted that if there is trauma to a specific area, that could help investigators determine a manner of death.
“That would give us an indication that this could be gunfire in some way, or that he had been struck in the head with a depressed skull fracture, something of that nature,” Morgan said.
Even though cadaver dogs were previously unsuccessful in finding Laundrie’s remains, Morgan said he wouldn’t be surprised if they were brought back out.
“Don’t be surprised in the coming days, if perhaps you see cadaver dogs coming back out. … Because what they would be looking for, for instance, are small, particularly pieces of bone that maybe have been drug away by scavengers at this point in time. That’s the key, you need all of the information that you can … have to have it coalesce in order to make a final determination from the scientific standpoint.”
Gabby Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie in a converted camper van. The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere in Wyoming.
Petito was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 just outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A Teton County coroner said earlier this month that Petito died by strangulation three to four weeks before her body was found.
Brian Laundrie was a person of interest in Petito’s death.