Brian Laundrie killed himself in remote lakeland, police say

A forensic anthropologist has said he believes Brian Laundrie killed himself rather than face a police officer who arrived at his home to check up on him the day after he escaped from an…

Brian Laundrie killed himself in remote lakeland, police say

A forensic anthropologist has said he believes Brian Laundrie killed himself rather than face a police officer who arrived at his home to check up on him the day after he escaped from an Arkansas jail.

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“Based on the complete extent of [Laundrie’s] injuries, I am not able to conclude that he was shot or stabbed,” said Darron DeBeauvoir.

It was Laundrie’s fourth try to flee the law. He had previously escaped from the Broward County jail in Florida, and twice from an Oklahoma jail.

Police believed he was in hiding on Sunday morning when a report of a car alarm at his home at about 6.40am triggered a search of the area. Officers later found his abandoned Chevy Malibu a few miles away from his house.

He broke a cell window at the California regional jail in Stockton, leaving him in a padded cell and alone in the jail’s kitchen.

Laundrie then had to provide DNA samples to police. In a jailhouse interview, Laundrie said he had taken drugs and stolen a key to a bathroom in a hold-up in Louisiana, where he served time on robbery and other charges.

At 8.40am on Sunday, July 8, officers arrived at Laundrie’s home to check on him. But he had fled to a lakebed behind his home and hiding under a bed with makeshift tools.

Another local who knew Laundrie and his family saw him in the Lake Almanor area just before midnight the same night.

“Brian was visibly intoxicated and appeared to be alone,” said the unidentified resident, in a statement. “Brian was dressed in clothes he had stolen out of his clothes collection.”

DeBeauvoir said Laundrie would have been at some point near the lakebed, “but I think he must have drowned and then his body was dumped into the lake.”

An autopsy was carried out on Monday and Tuesday in St Louis, but Laundrie was not identified until Wednesday after a judge ordered an open-ended extension of an order that allowed a medical examiner to examine Laundrie’s body.

Laundrie was shot and killed by a Tampa police officer on Friday. By then, the autopsy had been conducted. DeBeauvoir said the injury to Laundrie’s head “was more consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound”.

“The remaining gunshot wound is not consistent with a self-inflicted wound but more consistent with a gunshot from a firearms magazine,” he said.

The medical examiner said Laundrie had numerous defensive wounds on his arms. The shooting by a Tampa police officer was legal, under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

In the US, five deaths have so far been linked to this year’s intensifying national debate about Stand Your Ground laws.

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