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Motion Filed For Fraud Charge Against Brian Laundrie To Be Dropped
Brian Laundrie had been indicted for an unauthorized use of Gabby Petito's debit card after her murder.
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming is moving to drop a fraud charge against Brian Laundrie, days after the FBI announced they will soon be closing the Gabby Petito case.
Steven Bertolino, an attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family, confirmed to Oxygen.com via text on Thursday morning that the fraud charge brought against Laundrie in September, while police were conducting an extensive search for him, is being dropped.
A motion for the charge was filed on Tuesday, citing Laundrie's death, according to court paperwork obtained by Fox News.
On Sept. 22, three days after Petito’s remains were found, a federal grand jury indicted the Laundrie, 23, for “use of unauthorized access devices” following Petito’s death. Charging documents alleged he used Petito’s debit card.
The move to drop the charge comes a week after the FBI announced that they will soon be closing the case. At the same time, federal investigators announced that Laundrie took responsibility for the 22-year-old Petito's murder in a notebook found near his own body.
Petito vanished in late August while on a road trip with Laundrie. Her family reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her in roughly two weeks. They would soon learn that Laundrie returned to his parents' home in North Port, Florida without Petito a full 10 days earlier. Laundrie, who was classified by police as a person of interest in Petito's disappearance, also vanished days after police began investigating the Petito case.
Petito's remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19 and an autopsy revealed that she had been strangled to death, likely weeks before she was found. When investigators later found Laundrie's body in a Florida nature preserve in October, following a weeks-long manhunt, they determined he died from a self-inflicted gunshot. A notebook was found near his body, though there was speculation that it may have been severely water damaged; both his body and the notebook were found in an area that was covered with water for much of the search.
The kicked off a national search that attracted worldwide interest and it quickly became one of the biggest crime stories of 2021.
Bertolino told Oxygen.com that he had no further comment about the fraud charge being dropped.