Brian Laundrie's family has spoken out since Gabby Petito's cause of death was revealed to be homicide by strangulation.
In a statement to the media via their attorney Steven Bertolino, they explained, “Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy. While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise."
Emphasizing their defense of the wanted fugitive, the statement continued, "At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the fraud charge pending against him.”
On Thursday, September 23, FBI's Denver field office put a warrant out for Brian's arrest, but the charge was only related to a charge of unauthorized use of a debit card. The 23-year-old was officially reported missing on September 17, after leaving for a hike at the Carlton Reserve three days prior and never returned.
As OK! previously reported, during a press conference on Tuesday, October 12, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed Petito was killed after being strangled to death. Blue also confirmed the budding influencer was not expecting a child at the time of her death.
The coroner said in a statement within the conference, "Unfortunately, this is just one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence. It's unfortunate that these other deaths do not get as much coverage as this one."
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"I'm assuming that because the deceased was a blogger that this received more coverage than others, but there are a lot of both men and women who have lost their lives that aren't covered with this kind of media attention," Blue told the press.
Petito was officially reported missing on September 11 after taking off on a cross country road trip with her boyfriend. When Laundrie returned home to Florida at the beginning of September, Petito was not with him.
On September 19, the 22-year-old's body was found by authorities in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, the last place she was seen with Brian.