On September 11, 2007, Brian Laundrie was hiking with his girlfriend on the coast of Florida when he vanished without a trace. Four years later, on October 12th 2009, investigators found his remains in a park near Jacksonville Beach. The FBI identified DNA that matched Laundrie’s profile and held onto it for four more years before using it to identify him in 2017.
Brian Laundrie’s bones were discovered in a Florida wildlife park on Wednesday. (Photos: CNN – Reuters)
According to the FBI, human remains discovered in the Carlton Reserve in Florida have been identified as those of Brian Laundrie, the lone person of interest in the killing of his fiancée Gabby Petito.
The announcement broke on Thursday night, a day after Laundrie’s fragmentary remains were discovered with a bag and notepad. According to the FBI, dental records were utilized to authenticate his identification.
The FBI announced in a statement that a review of dental records showed that the human remains discovered near the T Mabry Carlton Jr Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creed Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie on October 21, 2021.
The Laundrie family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, verified that his parents were informed of the identification.
‘Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been notified that the bones discovered in the reserve yesterday are in fact Brian’s,’ Bertolino added. ‘At this time, we have no additional comment and ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy.’
Gabby’s attorney, Rick Safford, said that the family would not make any announcements about Laundrie’s identity until they are ’emotionally ready.’
Brian Laundrie (L) speaks with police as they react to an argument between Laundrie and Gabby Petito, as shown in a still picture from a police bodycam provided by the Moab City Police Department in Utah. (Photo courtesy of AFP)
Laundrie’s body was recovered on Wednesday, a month and a day after Gabby was discovered dead in a remote Wyoming national forest. She died by strangling in the manner of murder, according to a Teton County coroner.
On Wednesday morning, Laundrie’s parents arrived to Myakkahatchee, where an officer informed them that they’might have something.’
‘Some objects belonging to Brian were discovered,’ Bertolino stated afterwards.
Later, the Medical Examiner for Sarasota County was sent to the Carlton Reserve area. After being closed for almost a month as the FBI conducted a large search for Laundrie, Myakkahatchee Park reopened to the public on Tuesday.
The Petito family refused to comment on Brian Laundrie, who came home after a cross-country road trip sans Petito, in their first public statements since Gabby’s death. In her murder, he is the lone person of interest. (Image courtesy of Nomadic Statik/YouTube)
A cadaver dog, as well as two spotters, were on the scene, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Gabby’s family reported her missing on September 14, and Laundrie disappeared three days later.
The pair departed New York on a four-month cross-country adventure that included visits to national parks and camping. They intended to sleep in their van and chronicle their trips as part of ‘van-life’ blogs on Instagram and YouTube.
During the hunt for Brian Laundrie, two FBI investigators dropped off some documentation at the Laundrie house. (Image courtesy of SplashNews.com)
Except Laundrie didn’t bring Gabby back to his parents’ house in North Port, Florida. He returned on September 1, ten days before her parents became worried about her disappearance and filed a missing persons report.
Her corpse was discovered on September 19 at a campsite in the Bridger Teton National Forest, and it was determined two days later that she had been murdered.
Gabby’s corpse was abandoned for three to four weeks in the woods, according to Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue, who shared the autopsy results on October 12.
The pair met as children on Long Island and moved from Blue Point, New York, to North Port in 2019 to live with Laundrie’s parents.
During a hunt for Brian Laundrie, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission police ride along a private road near the Carlton Reserve’s entrance (Picture: AP)
Laundrie was arrested by the FBI, and a federal jury in Wyoming indicted him for suspected bank fraud. On August 30 and September 1, he is accused of using Petito’s debit card, probably while driving home to Florida in Petito’s vehicle.
On the Venice side of the Carlton Area, a marshy and difficult-to-navigate 25,000-acre natural reserve near the family’s house, investigators looked for Laundrie.
A Sarasota Sheriff’s Office underwater diving squad was also involved in the hunt.
On Wednesday, Dog the Bounty Hunter and his squad search Egmont Key State Park for Brian Laundrie (Picture: FOX Digital)
After days of searching, television personality Duane Lee Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, joined the chase for Laundrie, causing headlines when he got leads about her whereabouts.
Gabby’s relatives started speaking out as the hunt increased, pleading with the Laundrie family to come forward with information about what had happened to her.
Gabby’s father, Joe Petito, labeled the whole Laundrie family cowards in an interview with Dr. Phil, claiming they ‘don’t know how to stand up for their conduct.’
When Gabby initially went missing, her parents texted and called Chris and Roberta to express their worry, but they never received a response.
‘A normal parent would respond if you text them that you’re going to call the police because you can’t locate their kid,’ Joe said. ‘There was no answer.’ Nothing.’
Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother, claimed a part of her knew her daughter was gone at the time.
The Petito family subsequently announced the formation of the Gabby Petito Foundation, a network that would aid victims of domestic abuse in locating missing individuals.
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