Brian Laundrie’s remains likely those found in Florida nature preserve, family lawyer says
The apparent remains of a person found in a Florida nature preserve Wednesday are likely those of Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito sought in connection with her death, according to a lawyer for the Laundrie family.
On Wednesday, authorities located a backpack and notebook they believed to be Laundrie’s in Carlton Reserve on the west coast of Florida.
For more than a month, law enforcement officials have sought Laundrie, 23, in connection with the death of Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19 in Wyoming near where the couple was traveling on a cross country road trip together. Laundrie went missing on Sept. 14 after returning home to Florida without Petito.
A Teton County coroner said on Oct. 12 that her death was caused by strangulation. It had previously been ruled a homicide.
On Wednesday night, Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that there was a strong probability the remains found in the Florida nature reserve were Laundrie’s.
“It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belonging alongside from the remains. That’s got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken,” Bertolino said.
But a formal identification of the remains could take longer, according to CNN. They were found in an area that had until recently been underwater, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said. A medical examiner arrived at the reserve Wednesday.
Michael McPherson, chief of the Tampa FBI office, makes a statement to the media during a briefing Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in North Port, Fla. Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found in a Florida wilderness park during a search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito . (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)AP
Bertolino said that Laundrie’s parents helped law enforcement locate some items believed to be their son’s in the nature preserve. The park had been closed to the public before Wednesday, he said, but the parents had provided officials with locations that Brian had liked to visit.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie searched through the park while closely accompanied by law enforcement, Bertolino said. Chris found a white dry bag 20 feet off a trail and showed it to officials, who informed him that a backpack and human remains had been found nearby. The Laundries were then asked to leave the preserve, the family lawyer said.
The remains were found in the preserve, a police spokesperson for the Florida town of North Port said.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.