Human remains that were found in a Florida park have been confirmed to be Brian Laundrie’s, Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino tells in Touch in a statement, confirming the 23-year-old’s death following an extensive manhunt.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,” Bertolino says. “We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy at this time.”
#UPDATE: 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 Creek Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie. @FBITampa pic.twitter.com/ZnzbXiibTM
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) October 21, 2021
The news comes after Laundrie’s 22-year-old fiancée Gabby Petito‘s cause and manner of death were confirmed as homicide by strangulation.
Remains belonging to Laundrie were located at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday, October 20, after his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, planned to search for their son at the park that morning.
“The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian’s parents’ intentions and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning,” Bertolino told In Touch in a statement. “After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found. As of now, law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.”
Later, during a press conference, the FBI confirmed what appeared to be human remains were found.
Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17. At the time, Chris and Roberta claimed the last time they had seen their son was on September 14, but they later amended the date they last saw their son as September 13. Laundrie disappeared two days before he was named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance.
Petito’s family reported her missing on September 11. Prior to Laundrie’s own disappearance, he declined talking to investigators.
In July, Petito and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country road trip in a converted white 2012 Ford Transit van to visit national parks in the American West, documenting their “van life” travels in hashtagged social media posts. Throughout the trip, they both shared photos on Instagram about their adventures until it came to an abrupt end in late August. Laundrie returned to the home he and Petito shared with his parents in North Port in their van, without Petito, on September 1.
Authorities later discovered human remains that were consistent with the description of Petito on September 19 in the vicinity of the Spread Creek camping area in Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park, one of the last places she was seen alive.
One day later, the FBI entered and searched the home of Laundrie’s parents as part of a “court-authorized search warrant” related to the case. His parents were escorted from the home ahead of the search effort on September 20 and then questioned once they were allowed back inside.
Leading up to the warrant, the North Port Police Department said it had “exhausted all avenues” in searching for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.
An arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie by the U.S. District Court of Wyoming on September 23. The warrant, released by the FBI, was not issued for Petito’s homicide but instead, the alleged violation of the “Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices” statute of the U.S. Code, specifically for “whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices.”
An access device refers to “any card, plate, code, account number or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument),” according to the United States v. Jenkins-Watts.
The remains found in Wyoming were confirmed to be Gabby’s, and she was confirmed dead on September 21. Her manner of death was deemed a homicide at the time. On October 12, Petito’s autopsy results confirmed her cause of death. “The Teton County Coroner’s Office is [issuing] the following verdict: in the death of Gabrielle Venora Petito, we find the cause of death is death by strangulation and manner of death is death by homicide,” Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said during a press conference.
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Although Dr. Blue could not determine the exact date of Petito’s death, he estimated that it may have been “three to four weeks from the time the body was found.” Moreover, Dr. Blue could not comment on Petito’s toxicology report but did confirm she was “not pregnant” at the time of her death.
Dr. Blue later clarified that the cause of death was specifically manual strangulation/throttling.
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