Human remains have been found in the hunt for fugitive Brian Laundrie, the 23-year-old fiance of murdered Gabby Petito, five weeks after he went on the run in an alligator-infested Florida swamp.
The grim discovery was made on Wednesday afternoon in the Carlton reserve in Florida, near Laundrie’s home, along with a camping backpack.
The belongings were identified as Brian’s by his parents, who helped with the search on Wednesday after keeping to themselves for weeks.
The pair have refused to speak publicly about the case and they have also refused to speak with Gabby’s grief-stricken family in New York.
If the remains are identified to be Brian’s, it brings a somber end to a hunt for a killer that has captivated the nation. The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office is at the scene.
Steve Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, said: ‘After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found.’
Authorities have been searching the park for weeks, but the portion where the remains were found on Tuesday were previously underwater, according to
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A police officer is pictured walking in the Carlton Reserve with what appears to be the strap of Brian Laundrie’s backpack, in a white plastic bag. The discovery was made on Wednesday, five weeks after he went on the run following the disappearance of his fiance Gabby Petito. She was found strangled to death in September
Chris and Roberta Laundrie (pictured) alerted investigators on Tuesday night that they intended to search Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park for their son on Wednesday morning. The FBI and North Port Police Department agreed to meet them at the park
Brian Laundrie, 23, is the sole suspect in the murder of his 22-year-old fiancee Gabby Petito. Her strangled body was found in September, weeks after she was last seen alive. The pair were on a cross-country camper van trip when she vanished and he went home in September
The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office is at the scene. It’s unclear how long it may take for the remains to be formally identified
The manhunt for Laundrie continued on Wednesday, a day after the park was reopened to the public following weeks of unsuccessful searches for the 23-year-old fugitive
Gabby and Brian embarked on a cross-country trip earlier this summer with a plan to document it all on film for their social media channels.
TIMELINE OF GABBY PETITO DISAPPEARANCE AND DEATH
July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
Aug. 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’
Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug. 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip
Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nichole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
August 30: Gabby’s family receive final text from her phone saying ‘No service in Yosemite’
Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
Sept. 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito
Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announces autopsy findings which show Petito died by strangulation
Oct. 16: Petito’s parents are seen collecting her ashes from the Valley Mortuary in Jackson, Wyoming
October 20: Human remains found in Carlton Reserve
Their loved-up Instagram persona was a far cry from the combative relationship that was playing out behind the scenes.
Just a few weeks before she vanished, police in Moab, Utah, were called to the pair’s van after fellow travelers saw Brian hit Gabby.
They were separated for the night, and Gabby was deemed to be the aggressor. August 26 was the last time anyone saw or heard from Gabby.
Laundrie returned to his parents home on September 1. At first, they told cops they last saw him on September 14. They later said it was in fact September 13. He has been on the run ever since.
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The officer, showing the family an unknown discovery, appears to tell the Laundries: ‘I think we might have found something.’
He then emerges carrying a plastic camping bag that contained articles belonging to Laundrie.
Chris and Roberta alerted investigators on Tuesday night that they intended to search for Laundrie – the sole person of interest in the homicide of his fiancée,
‘After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found,’ Bertolino said. ‘As of now law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.’
The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is situated on 160 acres of heavily wooded land and connects to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.
Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17 after claiming they last saw him three days prior. His whereabouts have been unknown ever since.
Federal investigators issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on September 23 for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ last month after alleging he used a Capitol One Bank debit card that wasn’t his.
Until Wednesday, there had been no signs of Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve in Florida, the area his parents cite as the last place he was seen.
Last week, North Port police noted there was ‘nothing to suggest’ whether Laundrie was dead or alive.
Officials claimed no one had seen him in the reserve and search teams didn’t find any physical evidence of his presence in the area.
On Tuesday, Chris and Roberta broke cover for a nearly five-hour shopping trip, dodging questions about their son’s whereabouts as they shipped a mysterious package labeled ‘meal kit’.
The Laundries remained silent when asked if they are in contact with Brian, the missing fiancé of murdered van-life girl
The couple emerged from their home in North Port,
DailyMail.com spotted Brian Laundrie’s parents on a five-hour shopping trip Tuesday morning
After making a few stops, DailyMail.com spotted them stop at a FedEx store where Christopher went inside carrying a parcel with the intriguing words ‘meal kit’ stamped on one end
They also refused to answer DailyMail.com’s inquiries of ‘is he in the park, did you help him get there?’ in reference to the massive swampland search for survivalist Brian, 23, that started nearly five weeks ago at the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near North Port
Gabby’s father Joseph Petito clutches the ashes of his murdered daughter, whose remains were found at a nearby campsite on September 19
After making a few stops, DailyMail.com spotted them at a FedEx store where Christopher went inside carrying a parcel with the intriguing words ‘meal kit’ stamped on one end. The addressee could not be seen.
They refused to answer DailyMail.com’s questions when asked ‘is he in the park, did you help him get there?’ in reference to the massive swampland search for survivalist Brian, 23, that started nearly five weeks ago at the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near their home.
The Laundrie family lawyer, Anthony Bertolino, gave a statement attempting to express sympathy to Petito’s family on Thursday after her cause of death was revealed.
‘Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
Petito’s mother texted a reported a curt, blunt response.
‘His words are garbage. Keep talking,’ she wrote to a reporter from WFLA in Florida.