The FBI held a press conference on Wednesday, October 20, to confirm human remains were found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, as well as items belonging to Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the homicide of Gabby Petito. They also revealed that the remains were discovered nearby the items, which included Laundrie’s backpack and notebook.
“Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items such as a backpack and notepad belonging to Brian Laundrie,” FBI Tampa Special Agent Michael McPherson said.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office confirmed to In Touch that their human remains detection K9s were “requested” by the North Port police to conduct a search.
Brian’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, went to the “Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian,” the Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino previously told In Touch. “The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian’s parents’ intentions and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning. After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented, some articles belonging to Brian were found.”
According to CNN, Bertolino said “the probability is strong that it is Brian’s remains,” on Wednesday evening. “It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belongings alongside some remains. That’s got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken,” he said.
Laundrie, 23, remains the only person of interest in the case of Petito’s homicide.
In July, Laundrie and his fiancée embarked on a cross-country trip, stopping at national parks and documenting their “van life” on social media. However, on September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida — where he and Petito also lived — alone.
On September 11, Petito’s parents reported their daughter missing. Her remains were found eight days later near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, where she was last seen alive. Prior to finding the Long Island Native’s remains, Laundrie went missing on September 13. His parents did not report Laundrie missing until September 17.
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“I just hope people are inspired by her,” Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said during a press conference on September 28. “It’s hard to put into words. It’s amazing that she’s touched so many lives and it’s only been in two weeks. I’m so proud of her.”
“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” Bertolino said in a statement after the Teton County coroner confirmed her death was a homicide. “While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise. At this time Brian is still missing, and when he is located, we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
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