Investigators searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of murdered influencer Gabby Petitio, have confirmed "human remains" found at a park in Florida are his. The FBI said they also found a collection of belongings believed to be Laundrie's.
In a statement released on Thursday, the FBI said: "On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T Mabry Carlton Jr Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creed Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie."
After the announcement, a lawyer representing Laundrie's parents told the press, "Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian's. We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundries' privacy at this time."
Just one day earlier, the FBI revealed they'd found "what appeared to be human remains" during a search in the Carlton Reserve area. FBI special agent Michael McPherson added that investigators had also discovered a selection of personal items, including a backpack and a notebook. "These items were found in an area that up until recently had been underwater," McPherson revealed.
Laundrie and Petito's story has gripped the US, and the world, in recent months. The pair set off on a tour around the US at the start of July, but Petito's family grew concerned over her whereabouts after they lost contact with her in August. She was last seen checking out of a hotel with Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 24 August. But Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, revealed the last text she received from her daughter implied she was in Yosemite [via Daily Mail], which is over 800-miles away from where she was last sighted.
Schmidt filed a missing persons report for Petito on September 11, and it later came to light that Laundrie had returned, alone in their van, to his parental home in Florida 10 days prior. A spokesperson for the North Port Police Department confirmed they had seized the van, and speaking to Insider, they said: "We showed up. We see the vehicle. We take the vehicle. We make an attempt to talk with Brian, and his family declined to make him available, and they gave us the information for his attorney."
As attention around the case grew, Laundrie himself went missing, with his family filing an official report on 17 September. Two days after his disappearance, and following a nationwide manhunt, Petito's body was found in Wyoming, where the couple had been travelling.
Last week, a coroner ruled the 22-year-old influencer's death as a homicide, citing the cause of death as strangulation. In a conference held on Tuesday 12 October, a medical examiner at the Teton County Coroner's Office confirmed the finding.
Speaking to the press Teton County Coroner, Brent Blue explained that under Wyoming state law he's unable to reveal any further details of the autopsy. He did, however, confirm that her body was outside for three to four weeks before it was discovered. Some media reporters also questioned whether Petito was pregnant at the time of her death, but Blue denied this.
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