Last month, a major manhunt for Brian Laundrie came to a close after his remains were found in a Florida environmental park.
The skeletal remains were confirmed as his using forensic dentistry, but his cause of death has remained a mystery until now.
On Tuesday, a lawyer for the Laundrie family claimed to CNN that a post-mortem examination showed that he died by suicide, from a gunshot wound to the head.
But the latest development in the case that gripped the nation sparked new questions on social media platforms such as Twitter - with many asking why there had been no reports of a gun being found near his body.
Laundrie and his fiancee Gabby Petito travelled across the country over the summer in a converted van and documented their explorations on social media. The case garnered national attention when both went missing and authorities launched their search.
On September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ house in Florida without Petito.
When police tried to question the Laudrie family about where Petito was, Laundrie disappeared on September 13 or 14 after leaving his home with a backpack, according to his parents.
Days later on September 19, Petito’s remains were discovered in Wyoming. Her cause of death was ruled as a homicide by manual strangulation.
The circumstances surrounding Petito’s death are unknown. Laundrie was a “person of interest” in her murder, according to the FBI, although he was never charged. He had, however, been charged for allegedly using two accounts that belonged to someone else in the days following her death.
Laundrie’s remains were discovered on October 20 in an area of Carlton Reserve in North Port, Florida, and had been underwater during prior searches of the 25,000-acre nature reserve.
Steven Bertolino, a lawyer for the Laundrie family, stated in October that Laundrie’s parents had addressed the potential that their son had committed suicide “several times.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
For services local to you, the national mental health database- Hub of Hope - allows you to enter your postcode to search for organisations and charities who offer mental health advice and support in your area.
If you are based in the US, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.