Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino filed a petition at Sarasota County court last month requesting access to their son’s estate, in particular two bank accounts.
So far, the FBI has denied Chris and Roberta Laundrie access to their late son’s bank account. They hope to turn over a recovered notebook and other belongings found near his body in the previous Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Reserve, Florida.
Bank accounts and the uncertainties that surround them
Laundrie’s parents had to file paperwork to gain access to their son’s wealth because they lacked a will.
Bertolino told Fox News Digital Wednesday, Dec. 29, “The petition is simply to administer his estate, which is primarily the bank account.” He added, “The return of property by law enforcement is separate.”
The FBI has yet to say if the notebooks or other things discovered alongside Laundrie’s death last year will be returned to his family. According to Bertolino, “retained property will be returned to its owner” once the FBI closes the case on Gabby’s murder and Brian’s suicide.
Those expecting a resolution to the disappearance and murder may be disappointed, according to former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, after investigators divulge what they found inside. He predicted that investigators would not discover anything useful in the notepad.
“It is unlikely the notebook’s contents are legible if they were underwater for weeks,” he said. “Laundrie’s body was described as skeletal ‘remains’ and the FBI needed dental records to identify him. The human body can withstand water and wildlife better than paper.”
The notebook is being “preserved” by the FBI to aid with the investigation, suggested one expert. “Trying to recover the writing, the ink marks, and fingerprints,” McCabe said a team of law enforcement experts can assist in drying out their paper.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN that the magazine might be able to shed light on Laundrie’s “motives” or feelings toward fiance Gabby Petito.
He added: “In terms of understanding Laundrie’s motive, his feeling about Petito, maybe event any kind of notes or comments he may have made about the events—that notebook could shed a lot of light on those issues.”
Petito vanished in late August, months after a tour of US National Parks with Laundrie, during which she wanted to convert into a YouTube video blogging career.
Petito’s strangled remains were discovered in a campground north of Jackson, Wyoming, by an FBI-led search team on September 19. Other travel bloggers had offered video evidence that she and Laundrie were camped in the region when she died.
Laundrie slipped away from his parent’s house in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 13 — right in front of local cops who refused to call him a suspect.
However, the FBI eventually identified him as the only person involved in Petito’s murder, and a federal arrest warrant for bank card fraud was issued against him.
“On September 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Christopher Laundrie under a Federal Grand Jury indictment related to Mr. Laundrie’s activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said at the time.
On Oct. 20, authorities discovered Laundrie’s remains in a swampy park near his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, bringing an end to a worldwide manhunt for him. When Laundrie’s own parents stumbled into some of his personal possessions that morning, Fox News Digital caught startling photographs. The discovery was made in an area where police had been told to look for weeks, but floods had submerged most of it during that time.
The contents of the notebooks were expected to provide light on the final weeks before the 23-year-old committed suicide at the Environmental Reserve. After weeks in the Florida wetlands, it’s unclear whether detectives uncovered anything linked to the case in the journals or what they recovered.
Gabby’s death is still under investigation by the FBI.