A body discovered in the search for the missing Brian Laundrie has been identified and confirmed by the FBI.
Brian Laundrie, 23, had been named as a person of interest in the death of his fiancée, YouTuber Gabby Petito, whose remains were found after she vanished during their cross-country road trip. While Petito’s body was found and her cause of death has been confirmed to be by strangulation, Laundrie has not been seen since September 14.
On Tuesday, October 20, authorities searching the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park found items that were thought to belong to Laundrie. In the same area of those items, they also found what appeared to be human remains.
‘Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,’ Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino told Fox News. ‘We have no further comment at this time and we ask you respect the Laundrie family’s privacy at this time.’
The FBI confirmed that dental records were used in order to confirm the human remains were Brian Laundrie.
Petito and Laundrie had been documenting their journey via their YouTube channel Nomad Statik, having set off from Laundrie’s family home North Port, Florida. The plan had been to drive west in Petito’s Ford Transit van, stopping off to visit state and national parks.
The last-known sighting of Petito was at a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she was seen leaving with Laundrie on August 24. Just 12 days earlier, in Moab, officers responded to an ‘altercation’ between the couple. At the time, police did not regard the incident to be serious enough to press any charges.
As reported by ABC News, the day after that final sighting at the hotel, Petito spoke with her mother, letting her known that their next planned destinations would be Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
Schmidt never heard from her daughter again. Petito was reported missing on September 11 after her concerned parents hadn’t heard from her in a fortnight.
By this point, Laundrie had returned alone to his family home in Florida, where he’d been since September 1.
On September 14, officers obtained a warrant to examine an external hard drive retrieved from Petito’s van. The following day, Laundrie, who had refused to cooperate with police, was named as a person of interest in the case.
Speaking at a press conference, officers said that Laundrie had ‘not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators’, adding that he had failed to provide ‘any helpful details’.
Laundrie’s parents reported their son missing on September 17, three days after he set off on a hike in the ‘vast and unforgiving’ Carlton Reserve.
A search was carried out at the reserve by several law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Sarasota Police Department.
North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said at the time:
This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through gator and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.
Remains discovered in a remote part of Bridger-Teton National Forest, Teton County, Wyoming on Sunday, September 19, have since been confirmed to belong to Petito. The coroner has initially confirmed that the manner of death was homicide, while a cause of death was strangulation.
Brian Laundrie’s cause of death has not been confirmed at this time.
An FBI hotline has been set up for anyone who has information on Gabby Petito. Call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677