CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — In an interview with NewsNation, the Laundrie family attorney spoke out Thursday against the idea that his clients planted Brian Laundrie’s remains and personal items law enforcement found in a Florida reserve.
Please note — this story contains profanity in a quote below. Reader discretion is advised.
“Do you really think the Laundries had skeletal remains of their son, you know, in a plastic bag and brought them to present to the [Carlton Reserve]?” Steven Bertolino said on “NewsNation Prime” on Thursday. “Do you realize how ludicrous that is, how aggravating, how maddening it is to even hear those things?”
Laundrie was found dead Wednesday after a manhunt that lasted 34 days. His body was identified Thursday. He was a person of interest in the death of Gabby Petito, his girlfriend, and was indicted on a charge that he used her debit card after she died.
During that time, online sleuths and experts have tried to piece together clues about how Petito died, and where Laundrie could have been hiding.
Laundrie’s remains were found this week after the reserve had been opened back up to the public. It had been closed for weeks as police searched. The Laundries also helped police search the day the remains were found. The timing has prompted some to speculate foul play.
“Maybe somebody with a platform should step up and say, ‘Hey, knock it off. This is just silly,'” Bertolino said. “So if I’m the only one who has to say that this is hogwash because I didn’t want to say the word bullshit, then I’m going to say it: It’s bullshit. And I’m sorry if John Q Public doesn’t get that.”
Bertolino said a reporter and police were present when the Laundries arrived, and police have told NewsNation they do not believe the Laundrie family had anything to do with the remains being found when they were.
“The remains and items had clearly been there for some time,” North Port police said in a statement to NewsNation.
The area where Laundrie was found was “completely underwater” in the beginning days of the search, Bertolino said. He said Laundrie’s remains and items were found about a mile from the trailhead Wednesday, where the water had since receded.
“It’s not very difficult, because it’s very simple. And the public doesn’t understand simplicity,” Bertolino said.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s parents, have not spoken publicly. Their lawyer said the family is “distraught” and grieving after any hope of reuniting with their son was wiped out Thursday.
The Petito family has not commented on the confirmation of Brian Laundrie’s death, though they have scolded the Laundries’ silence in previous interviews.
When asked if the Laundries considered reaching out to Petito’s parents, Bertolino said, “It’s not the appropriate time to have that conversation.”
Bertolino said he was not sure what the family’s plans were going forward, but noted that “I will be representing the family as long as it’s necessary.”