Gabby Petito's Family Attorney Hints at Possible Charges Against 'Additional Individuals' in Statement

Attorney Richard Stafford said the United States Attorney's Office is still weighing its options

The lawyer for Gabby Petito's family has hinted that charges might soon be filed in the case.

Attorney Richard Stafford, in a statement issued after officials revealed Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, noted that federal authorities as well as prosecutors in Wyoming have asked that he and Petito's parents and stepparents withhold comment on the case.

"The Schmidt and Petito family has been aware of the circumstances surrounding the suicide of the sole suspect in Gabby's murder," reads Stafford's statement. "Gabby's family will not be making a statement at this time due to the request of the United States Attorney's Office and the Teton County Prosecutor's Office."

The statement continues: "The family was asked to not make any comments and let the FBI continue their investigation. The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney's Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged. When that determination is made, we will have a statement."

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie. Gabby Petito Instagram

Laundrie was never charged with Petito's death or disappearance, though he was named a person of interest in the case. A suspect for those crimes has not been named.

On Tuesday, five weeks after his remains were discovered in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, authorities confirmed Laundrie, 23, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

An initial autopsy produced inconclusive results last month. The remains were subsequently transferred to an anthropologist for additional analysis.

Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie
Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie. Find Gabby/Facebook

"Chris and Roberta [Laundrie] are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families," Steven Bertolino, the lawyer for Laundrie's parents, told PEOPLE in a statement.

The couple had spent the summer traveling across the country in a white van together, documenting their adventures on YouTube along the way — but on Sept. 1, Laundrie quietly returned to his parents' Florida home without Petito.

Ten days later, her family reported her missing.

For the first week of Petito's missing persons investigation, the Laundrie family refused to cooperate with authorities, directing all questions to their attorney, police said.

A week after the Petito case began, the Laundrie family spoke to the FBI for the first time — but not to talk about Petito.

Instead, Laundrie's parents wanted to alert investigators that their son, too, had gone missing. They claimed he was last seen on Sept. 13, after allegedly leaving their home to hike in the nearby Carlton Reserve.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

The FBI and local Florida authorities quickly launched a search for Laundrie in the 25,000-acre nature preserve, wading waist-deep through snake- and alligator-infested swamps in some areas. (The Carlton Reserve is connected to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where his remains were found.)

While police were trying to locate Laundrie in Florida, separate search teams continued looking for Petito in Wyoming, where she was last seen.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie
Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito. North Port Police Department/Facebook

On Sept. 19, Petito's body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park. Her death was ruled a homicide by the county coroner, who said she died from strangulation.

Days later, even as his whereabouts remained unknown, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest in relation to activities that occurred after Petito's death. The FBI revealed that a federal grand jury charged him with using an unauthorized debit card with intent to fraud.

The discovery of Laundrie's body ended a 32-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

Related Articles