Brian Laundrie - update: Police deny new rumours about DNA of discovered remains

Brian Laundrie - update: Police deny new rumours about DNA of discovered remains
·70 min read

Authorities have admitted that they mistook Brian Laundrie’s mother for the young, male fugitive, leading North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison to erroneously claim he knew where he was located during a press conference in September.

Meanwhile, Steven Bertolino, the lawyer for Chris and Roberta Laundrie, hit back at the police department, saying they never should have lost track of Mr Laundrie in the first place.

He also said Mr Laundrie will be cremated without a funeral. His parents acknowledged the death of their son in a short and unemotional statement, released through their lawyer, and asked for privacy.

The Petito-Schmidt family attorney, Rick Stafford, have said they would not make any statements on the identification of Gabby Petito’s former fiance until they’re “emotionally ready”.

The FBI confirmed Mr Laundrie’s remains through dental records, suggesting he had been dead for a significant period of time before his remains were found. His belongings, which include a notebook and a backpack, were described as “salvageable” and may yet provide further clues.

Read More

Brian Laundrie: FBI confirms remains found in Florida are missing fugitive

Gabby Petito timeline: When was she found and how did she die?

How were remains thought to be Brian Laundrie missed for 33 days but then found by his parents in a few hours?

Brian Laundrie: When will FBI be able to establish cause of death?

Key Points

  • No funeral for Brian Laundrie, who will be cremated, lawyer says

  • Police return to spot where Brian Laundrie's remains were found

  • Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

  • ‘Let me grieve,’ Brian Laundrie’s father says

  • ‘I’m upset, I’m angry’: Brian Laundrie’s lawyer Steven Bertolino’s TV outburst

  • Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him: ‘He was visibly upset’

  • Brian Laundrie search: Did parents lead FBI to spot where remains and Brian’s notebook were found?

Laundrie family lawyer says cause of death report could take three weeks

23:45 , Graeme Massie

Steven Bertolino says that a report on the exact cause of Brian Laundrie’s death could take up to three weeks, according to WPBF25 reporter Jossie Carbonare.

“Steven Bertolino, Brian Laundrie family attorney tells me the medical examiner has no info at this time to share because it is still an open investigation, however he says he was told we can expect a report on the cause of death in 2 to 3 weeks,” she tweeted.

Opinion: Does Brian Laundrie’s family deserve privacy?

21:56 , Graig Graziosi

Brian Laundrie’s family has asked for privacy to mourn the loss of their son after weeks of media attention and chiding by protesters camped outside their house.

But do they deserve that privacy?

Austin Sarat gives his perspective in The Independent’s Voices section, exploring the aftermath of a murder on the families of the perpetrators. Mr Laundrie has not been charged with murder, but many people have treated his family as though he has.

Does Brian Laundrie’s family deserve privacy?

The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

21:28 , Graig Graziosi

The Gabby Petito case captivated America for two months, culminating with the revelation that both Ms Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, were dead.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe retraces the story and examines what Americans’ fascination with the story says about our culture.

Read more below...

The sad saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

North Port police confirm no DNA matching has been done on Brian Laundrie’s remains, but confirm dental record match

20:58 , Graig Graziosi

North Port police confirmed in a Twitter post that Brian Laundrie was identified using dental records which matched those of the skull found in the Carlton Reserve on 20 October.

The department’s post confirmed that no DNA analysis was done to match the skull to Mr Laundrie. The post was made in response to erroneous social media reports claiming that the DNA from the skull did not match Mr Laundrie.

DNA analysis will be performed after the medical examiner’s office has concluded its investigation.

Brian Laundrie’s parents return from private mourning trip to their home in North Port

19:55 , Graig Graziosi

Brian Laundrie’s parents have returned from a private trip to mourn their son. Mr Laundrie’s parents, including their daughter Cassie, went somewhere in Florida to mourn their son away from the public and the press.

The couple returned to their home in North Port, where the press and a small group of protesters have been camped out for weeks.

Still no word on whether or not remains found in Yucca Valley are missing woman Lauren Cho

19:02 , Graig Graziosi

There is still no word on whether or not remains found in Yucca Valley, California, earlier this month are missing woman Lauren Cho.

Ms Cho, 30, disappeared on 28 June after walking into the California desert. Human remains were located on 9 October in Yucca Valley, but a coroner examining the remains said they have not concluded whether or not the remains are those of Ms Cho.

The coroner said they hope to have answers soon.

Laundrie family attorney defends clients from North Port police finger-pointing

18:14 , Graig Graziosi

Steven Bertolino, the lawyer representing the Laundrie family, shot back at the North Port police after a spokesman suggested it was the family’s fault Brian Laundrie managed to slip away into the Carlton Reserve.

The spokesman said the family’s lack of cooperation prevented them from ensuring Mr Laundrie was at his home. He said that officers mistook his mother, Roberta, for him, while she was driving his silver Mustang. That error resulted in North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison erroneously telling reporters that he knew where Mr Laundrie was located.

“I concur with Mr. Taylor that Brian may have already been deceased when NPPD realized that they “lost track” of him. However you can’t blame the family because the police didn’t know enough to follow someone they were obviously surveilling.” Mr Bertolino said in response.

Social media conspiracy theorists like Brian Laundrie’s “escape” to “You” season three

16:57 , Graig Graziosi

Some social media conspiracy theorists have claimed that Brian Laundrie is still alive, invoking Netflix’s “You” as a possible explanation for how he managed to escape the Carlton Reserve despite his skeletal remains being found in the swamp.

“You” is a show about a serial killer stalking, isolating, and sometimes killing a woman that he becomes infatuated with over the course of a season. While the recently released third season of the show does include a storyline about a missing woman and the media frenzy around trying to find her, the conspiracy theorists are more concerned with the show’s finale.

In the show’s season three finale, the protagonist, Joe, kills his equally homicidal wife, after she tries to paralyze him. Knowing he’ll be hunted for the rest of his life if his wife disappears, he amputates two of his toes and leaves them in his house, which he then sets ablaze before escaping to Paris. The conspiracy theorists are suggesting that perhaps the Laundries - or Mr Laundrie himself - actually planted the remains in the Carlton Reserve and used the assumption of his death to disappear. Police found parts of Mr Laundrie’s skull in the swamp, meaning it is extraordinarily unlikely he planted the remains himself.

North Port police blame Brian Laundrie’s family for mistaken identity incident

15:42 , Graig Graziosi

North Port police told a Fox 13 reporter that the Laundrie family’s refusal to cooperate hindered their investigation.

On Monday the department revealed why Police Chief Todd Garrison incorrectly thought he knew where Brian Laundrie was on 16 September; his officers reported that they saw Mr Laundrie entering his home. What they really saw was his mother driving his car and wearing a baseball cap. Today, the department said it shared that information so that the public would understand how their investigation was reportedly hampered by the family.

“We just wanted people to better understand why we thought we knew Brian was in his home. It was a direct result of a lack of cooperation from the family early on this investigation,” he said.

North Port police admit to mistaking Roberta Laundrie for her son, Brian, leading to erroneous claim that they knew where he was

14:47 , Graig Graziosi

North Port police revealed on Monday that they mistook Roberta Laundrie for her son, Brian Laundrie, which is why the department’s chief claimed he knew where the man was even though he had been missing for several days.

On 16 September, five days after Gabby Petito was reported missing, North Port Police Chief Tedd Garrison told reporters he knew where Mr Laundrie was located. In reality, Mr Laundrie had already left for the Carlton Reserve and may have been dead.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has the full story of how North Port police came to believe Mr Laundrie was still at home at the link below...

Early police ‘sighting’ of Brian Laundrie was actually his mother in a baseball cap

Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s boyfriend

13:53 , Tom Batchelor

Brian Laundrie‘s skeletal remains found in a Florida nature preserve were positively identified last week using dental records, according to the FBI.

Mr Laundrie was the subject of a manhunt for more than a month as investigators searched for clues in the slaying of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, during their cross-country van trip together.

Here is everything we know about the 23-year-old:

Everything we know about Brian Laundrie as his remains are identified

Did ‘missing white woman syndrome’ affect Petito case?

12:53 , Tom Batchelor

Much was made in the media about the intense interest in Gabby Petito’s case compared with the scant attention paid to numerous missing-persons cases involving women of colour.

Native American women, in particular, generate little media coverage when they disappear.

In Wyoming, where Ms Petito was found, just 18 per cent of cases of missing indigenous women over the past decade had any media mentions, according to a state report released in January.

One sample of 247 missing teens in New York and California found 34 per cent of white teens’ cases were covered by the media, compared with only 7 per cent of black teens and 14 per cent of young Latinos, according to Carol Liebler, a communications professor at Syracuse University.

“What’s communicated is that white lives matter more than people of color,” she said. Ms Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, said the Gabby Petito Foundation is in the formative stages and will seek to fill in any gaps that exist in the work of finding missing people.

“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened,” he said. “We can’t let her name be taken in vain.”

Timeline of events in case

11:58 , Tom Batchelor

Here is a timeline of events in the case, provided by the Reuters news agency:

JUNE

Petito and Laundrie leave his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, in her white 2012 Ford Transit van. They drive north to Petito’s home state of New York to attend her brother’s high school graduation.

JULY

July 2: The couple leaves New York, headed west on a lengthy road trip across the United States. Petito plans to document the trip on YouTube and Instagram.

July 4 - 22: Petito posts a series of photos as they travel through Kansas, Colorado and Utah, including stops at several national parks. In one caption she cheerfully describes the “adventure” of the trip.

July 26 - 31: Petito posts several pictures from Utah. In one of the photos, at Mystic Hot Springs, Laundrie is seen kissing her.

AUGUST

Aug. 12: Petito posts images from Arches National Park in Utah, describing a “calm morning.”

That same day a 911 caller reports seeing the couple fighting in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah. The caller says Laundrie was slapping and hitting Petito.

Moab police officers stop the van on a highway near Arches National Park. In body camera video, Petito is seen sobbing as she describes an argument that escalated to a physical altercation. Police tell the couple to spend the night apart.

Aug. 19: Petito posts two more photographs to Instagram, one of them showing the white van from above. No location is given.

Aug. 24: Petito is seen for the last time, leaving a Salt Lake City hotel.

Aug. 25: Petito posts her final images to Instagram. No location is given. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, speaks to her for the last time. Petito tells her mother that the couple is headed to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Aug. 27: Travel bloggers driving through Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming record on video what they believe to be the white van parked along a dirt road near Spread Creek Dispersed Campground.

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 1: Laundrie returns alone to North Port, Florida, in the white van.

Sept. 11: Petito’s family reports her missing to police in Suffolk County, New York. A search begins.

Sept 14: Laundrie‘s family issues a statement saying Brian has retained an attorney and will not be speaking to law enforcement.

Sept. 15: Police name Laundrie a person of interest in the case and say he has refused to speak to investigators.

Sept. 17: Laundrie‘s parents report him missing to police, saying they have not seen him in three days, when he left to go hiking alone in the Carlton Reserve wilderness. Police begin a search for Laundrie in the swampy reserve.

Sept. 19: A body is recovered in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, less than 1,000 feet (305 m)from where the travel bloggers spotted the van near Spread Creek Dispersed Campground.

Sept. 21: An autopsy is conducted on the remains. FBI agents confirm they belong to Petito and that her death was a homicide. The search for Laundrie continues.

OCTOBER

Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue says Petito was killed by strangulation about three to four weeks before her body was found on Sept. 19.

Oct. 21: Dental records conducted on human remains found in a Florida wilderness park identify them as belonging to Laundrie.

Utah police conducting an internal review of officers’ actions

11:14 , Tom Batchelor

The police department in Moab, Utah is conducting an internal review of officers’ actions when Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie were stopped 12 August after the two got into a scuffle.

Police body-camera video showed a distraught Ms Petito describing a fight that escalated.

A police report concluded she was the aggressor, but the only injuries consisted of a few scratches. Officers decided to separate them for the night rather than file any charges.

The question is whether the Moab officers followed policy and, if not, whether that led to further violence and possibly Ms Petito’s slaying.

Why did the Laundrie search take so long?

10:32 , Tom Batchelor

Brian Laundrie, 23, was reported missing from his home in North Port on 17 September, two days after he was named a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

His family said Mr Laundrie left home on 13 September, telling parents Chris and Robert Laundrie he was going for a hike in the 25,000-acre (10,100-hectare) Carlton Reserve a few miles away.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials spent weeks searching the reserve, where at one point 75 per cent of the land had been under water. The area is home to alligators, bobcats, coyotes and snakes.

Although divers and cadaver dogs were brought in, it wasn’t until the heavy late-summer rains stopped and the water receded that Mr Laundrie‘s remains and a backpack and notebook belonging to him were found with his father’s help.

Officials have not released the cause of death for Mr Laundrie or said whether a note or other evidence about Ms Petito was found.

Can authorities prove if Laundrie killed Petito?

09:52 , Tom Batchelor

It could take a DNA match to answer that. Both sets of remains were exposed to the elements and animals for weeks.

The FBI has not said whether there are any witnesses to Ms Petito’s killing or its immediate aftermath. One piece of evidence is Mr Laundrie‘s use of a debit card that didn’t belong to him after Ms Petito was listed as missing.

“That would be circumstantial evidence that points to him,” said Alfredo Garcia, former dean at the St Thomas University College of Law in Miami Gardens and a one-time Miami prosecutor, told the Associated Press. “It’s a difficult proposition to establish but not impossible.”

The DNA matching effort and any use of fingerprints would be complicated by the fact that the couple were romantically involved and lived together in close quarters. But forensic experts have many techniques to solve crimes despite such obstacles.

“Reconstruction experts can do amazing things, so I would not be surprised if at some point we got a definitive, or near-definitive, conclusion,” said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University.

FBI yet to disclose contents of Laundrie backpack

09:22 , Tom Batchelor

No information has yet been released on what investigators found in a backpack and notebook found with Mr Laundrie‘s remains.

Ms Petito was discovered slain last month on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the places the young couple had visited on the trip they documented through social media videos.

An autopsy in Wyoming concluded Ms Petito died by strangulation and that it was a homicide.

Mr Laundrie, 23, was listed as a “person of interest” in her killing but he was charged only with fraudulent use of a debit card that was not his.

His remains were found in a nature preserve not far from his family’s home in North Port, Florida, where both he and Ms Petito had been living.

The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

08:53 , Tom Batchelor

Many questions remain unanswered, but the case is a tragedy for all concerned, writes Andrew Buncombe:

The sad saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Laundrie notebook found near remains ‘may be salvageable’

07:50 , Tom Batchelor

Brian Laundrie‘s notebook, found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park last week, “may be salvageable”, investigators have said.

The FBI said the item had been found alongside a backpack and dry bag containing other items close to where Laundrie’s partial remains were discovered.

Josh Taylor, the North Port Police Department public information officer, told Fox News Digital: “It appears it may be salvageable. That really is a question for FBI though.” The FBI is yet to comment on the notebook.

Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s lawyer, has said he does not know what is inside the book.

Stephen King 'suspects Brian Laundrie died by suicide'

06:46 , Namita Singh

Popular horror novelist Stephen King has weighed in on the probable cause of Brian Laundrie’s death.

“I suspect Brian Laundrie committed suicide,” King tweeted, “but unless he left a suicide note in the notebook found with his body, the cause of his death may be tough or even impossible to prove.”

His theory gained traction on social media, sparking a fresh round of conversation about the circumstances of Laundrie’s death. It has been retweeted over 1,500 times, and received around 25,000 likes.

What next in Petito’s homicide case?

06:08 , Namita Singh

After investigators found the remains of Brian Laundrie, the only person of interest in Gabby Petito’s homicide, there still remain many unanswered questions in the case.

Who killed Petito is still a mystery.

“We can surmise, we make an assumption, but right now the responsible party for the homicide of Gabby Petito, arguably, is still unsolved,” former FBI special agent Stuart Kaplan told People magazine, an American weekly.

Ascertaining Laundrie’s cause of death.

While dental records confirmed the human remains found last week belonged to Laundrie, the autopsy results were inconclusive and further study continues to try and establish a cause of death.

Will there be charges brought against Laundrie’s parents?

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Laundrie and his parents, earlier last week said he had “no reason to believe” that Mr Laundrie’s parents would be charged with any crime.

Speaking with NBC News, Mr Bertolino denied any dealings discussed between himself and the FBI, in exchange for immunity. He said charges were discussed but that there was “no threat, no coercion, and no deal was cut”.

Laundrie attorney denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Experts say forensic clues gathered from crime scene crucial

05:28 , Namita Singh

While investigators are still looking for leads about the murder of Gabby Petito and had hoped that speaking to Brian Laundrie would provide the clearest answers, experts say that now the forensic clues from the crime scenes, including fingerprints and DNA on the victim’s body could be crucial in solving the case.

Paul Belli, a retired lieutenant of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and president of the International Homicide Investigators Association, told CNN that in cases like these, unlike the ones where killings are committed by strangers, police would anyway expect to find DNA on the victim’s body as the person of interest is someone they are involved with.

“You would expect DNA on either one of them from the other,” Belli said. “But I mean, if there’s DNA maybe where it shouldn’t be, that could be kind of a clue as to what may have occurred.”

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie (Instagram)
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie (Instagram)

North Port police admits to making mistakes in Petito investigation

04:37 , Namita Singh

North Port police have admitted to making mistakes in the Brian Laundrie investigation.

The police thought they had cameras set up around the Laundrie family’s home before Brian went missing and that it would prevent him from slipping away unseen.

But the plan was not successful as officers who were keeping a close eye on the Laundrie house saw Brian leave in his grey Mustang and then believed that they saw him return a few days later.

“When the family reported him [missing] on Friday [17 September]. That was certainly news to us that they had not seen him,” said Josh Taylor, the public information officer for the North Port police department.“

We thought that we [had] seen Brian initially come back into that home on that Wednesday.”

The police mistook his mother, Roberta Laundrie for Brian, he said. “I believe it was his mom, who was wearing a baseball cap,” he said. “They had returned from the park with that Mustang.”

Early police ‘sighting’ of Brian Laundrie was actually his mother in a baseball cap

Brian Laundrie pictured at reserve where remains found

03:59 , Graeme Massie

Brian Laundrie was pictured in a photo on his Instagram account at the nature reserve where his remains were found last week.

Laundrie’s skeletal remains were finally found at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, not far from the family’s North Port home.

“Me and the coolest kid I know, my nephew. BFF,s since the day he was born,” read the caption on the 6 July 2020 picture of Brian sitting on a swing with swamp behind him and a youngster on his lap.

The picture is tagged on the Instagram page as being taken in the T Mabry Carlton Reserve.

 (Instagram)
(Instagram)

Artist will paint more wings in Gabby Petito’s memory

02:55 , Graeme Massie

Colorado artist Diego Jaguart painted the angel wings that went viral after Petito’s father shared the picture on Twitter with the words, “She touched the world.”

Mr Jaguart, from says he plans on painting other sets of wings in Old Colorado City following her death.

“My idea is to start painting more wings, the same wings in other areas. For women,” said Mr Jaguart, who says he plans on creating a new piece of work in Petito’s memory.

Gabby Petito’s grandmother pays tribute to her on social media

01:52 , Graeme Massie

“Family and friends lit up the sky for Gabby in a beautiful memorial last night. Her 6 year old cousin, Connor, sent her a beautiful message. Love you forever!” tweeted Mary Wickman.

Moab police’s handing of Petito case sent to another agency for review

Tuesday 26 October 2021 00:31 , Graeme Massie

Moab’s assistant police chief says that his department’s handling of their interaction with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie has been sent to another agency that will consider if officers handled it appropriately.

Assistant chief, Braydon Palmer, declined to tell FOX 13 which agency is reviewing the case or when the review will be complete.

The police department interacted with the couple on 12 August, when a passerby reported seeing Laundrie hit Petito, and officers pulled their white van over on US Highway 191.

The officers determined Petito was the aggressor and suggested the couple spend the night apart.

The department has been widely criticised for their handling of the domestic violence incident, which took place just weeks before she disappeared and a month before her remains were discovered in Wyoming.

FBI has all it needs for Gabby Petito investigation, says Laundrie family lawyer

Monday 25 October 2021 23:31 , Graeme Massie

Steven Bertolino told People that he has been told by investigators that they have “everything they need” in their probe into the killing of Gabby Petito.

Petito, 22, disappeared in August and her body was found in September after weeks in the wilderness.

Brian Laundrie’s remains were found in a Florida nature reserve last week after a nationwide hunt for him following Petito’s killing.

And Mr Bertolino says he does not thinkl his clients, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, will be interviewed by the FBI.

Early police ‘sighting’ of Brian Laundrie was actually his mother in a baseball cap, force admits

Monday 25 October 2021 22:34 , Graeme Massie

North Port police revealed on Monday that they mistook Roberta Laundrie for her son, Brian Laundrie, which is why the department’s chief claimed he knew where the man was even though he had been missing for several days.

On 16 September, five days after Gabby Petito was reported missing, North Port Police Chief Tedd Garrison told reporters he knew where Laundrie was located.

Graig Graziosi has the story.

Early police ‘sighting’ of Brian Laundrie was actually his mother in a baseball cap

North Port police says chief thought he knew where Brian Laundrie was, but actually saw Roberta Laundrie in a hat driving her son’s car

Monday 25 October 2021 21:20 , Graig Graziosi

On 16 September, North Port Police Chief Tedd Garrison held a press conference concerning Gabby Petito’s disappearance. During the presser, he told reporters he knew where Brian Laundrie was located. In reality, Mr Laundrie had already left his home for the Carlton Reserve, and possibly was dead at the time.

Today, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor told reporters that Mr Garrison thought Mr Laundrie was at his home because officers reported seeing him driving his car home. In reality, the person they saw was Mr Laundrie’s mother, Roberta, in a baseball cap.

Officials say notebook may be salvageable

Monday 25 October 2021 20:52 , Graig Graziosi

North Port police told Fox News that the notebook found in the Carlton Reserve on the day Brian Laundrie’s remains were located may be salvageable.

“It appears it may be salvageable. That really is a question for FBI though,” North Port Police Department Public Information Officer Josh Taylor said.

The area where Mr Laundrie’s remains and items were found last Wednesday was previously underwater, suggesting the notebook may be badly damaged.

Missing person report for Brian Laundrie fully redacted by North Port police

Monday 25 October 2021 20:30 , Graig Graziosi

WFLA in Florida obtained the missing person report for Brian Laundrie from the North Port police, but the entirety of the document was redacted.

Law enforcement can redact public records if they meet certain criteria, but it is unclear why the report was fully redacted.

Locals reveal spot where Brian Laundrie remains found is full of alligators and ‘evil’ wild pigs

Monday 25 October 2021 19:59 , Graig Graziosi

Locals living near the Florida reserve where the remains of Brian Laundrie were found have said it is full of alligators and “evil” wild pigs which wouldn’t have left any flesh for investigators to identify.

Several locals have told media outlets that the 25,000-acre Carlton reserve is full of hungry wetland creatures which would have eaten any flesh found there.

The Independent’s Stuti Mishra has more in the story below...

Locals reveal spot where Brian Laundrie remains found is full of ‘evil’ wild pigs

Chris and Roberta Laundrie were only 20 yards from their son’s remains on the day they were found

Monday 25 October 2021 18:49 , Graig Graziosi

Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s parents, nearly stumbled onto their son’s remains themselves while they were searching the Carlton Reserve with law enforcement.

During their trip to a park connected to the reserve, Fox News reports the couple was only 20 yards from the spot where investigators would eventually erect a tent as they collected the skeletal remains of Mr Laundrie.

While the parents did find Mr Laundrie’s dry bag, they were told to go home shortly after when police located the remains.

Tourist finds water bottle matching Gabby Petito’s close to where Brian Laundrie’s body was found

Monday 25 October 2021 17:50 , Graig Graziosi

TikTok user Olivia Vitale and her mother visited the newly reopened Carlton Reserve over the weekend, where they stumbled upon a water bottle that looked nearly identical to the one carried by Gabby Petito.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi explores what they did with their discovery and whether or not the bottle could actually be the one Ms Petito carried in the story below...

Tourist finds water bottle matching Gabby Petito’s in Carlton Reserve

Bertolino confirms Brian Laundrie’s cause of death could not be determined

Monday 25 October 2021 17:09 , Graig Graziosi

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, confirmed to reporters that law enforcement could not determine what caused the man’s death.

“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Mr Bertolino told NBC News.

Mr Laundrie’s remains were sent to an anthropologist for further examination. He said there is no timeline for when the anthropologist will conclude their work.

Laundrie family grieving privately together somewhere in Florida

Monday 25 October 2021 16:37 , Graig Graziosi

The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, confirmed to Fox News that the family was mourning the death of Brian Laundrie somewhere in Florida.

Chris and Roberta Laundrie, along with daughter Cassie, are reportedly together somewhere in the state.

Body of missing Texas man found in Grand Teton National Park

Monday 25 October 2021 16:23 , Graig Graziosi

The body of missing Texas man Jared Hembree was found in Grand Teton National Park, which is adjacent to the Bridger-Teton National Forest, where the bodies of Gabby Petito and Robert Lowery were discovered.

NPS Rangers began searching for Mr Hembree on Thursday after they received a call claiming the man was acting strangely near the park’s entrance.

“Park law enforcement received a call expressing concern about Hembree’s welfare after an interaction with him outside of the park’s eastern boundary,” parks officials said. “Hembree’s vehicle was located unattended at Game Warden Point parking area in the eastern part of the park.”

More than 80 people searched for Mr Hembree over the course of four days. The details of Mr Hembree’s location was not made public after he was found on Sunday.

TikTokker claims she found a water bottle at the Carlton Reserve similar to Gabby Petito’s

Monday 25 October 2021 15:04 , Graig Graziosi

A TikTok user believes she may have found a water bottle in the Carlton Reserve matching one that Gabby Petito carried during her August roadtrip with Brian Laundrie.

The user, Olivia Vitale, recorded herself and her mother searching the portion of the park where Mr Laundrie’s remains were recovered. During her recording she stumbled onto a Nalgene water bottle lying on the ground.

Ms Vitale recovered the bottle and gave it to the North Port police, who confirmed that they had the item. The bottle appears to match the bottle that Ms Petito had with her during hr August road trip with Mr Laundrie.

What key questions remain?

Monday 25 October 2021 13:55 , Eleanor Sly

Although Brian Laundrie has now been found, it still remains unclear as to how he died, what happened to Gabby Petito and what he was doing in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

Dental records confirmed the human remains discovered in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park did infact belong to Mr Laundrie.

However, working out what was the cause of death could be hard since authorities recovered "skeletal remains," said retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente, reported CNN.

Mr Clemente went on to add that Mr Laundrie could even have been dead the entire time that he was missing.

"It doesn’t necessarily mean that," Mr Clemente said to CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday. "But what it does mean is that it’s going to be much more difficult to make a good, solid determination as to the cause and manner of death."

"Unless there’s some kind of major, serious trauma to the skull that can be identified, there might not be a way to determine how he died," he said. "If he drowned, for example, there wouldn’t be any evidence of that on a skeleton."

The remains had previously been underwater in an area of the Carton Reserve which had dried out due to drier weather.

Gabby Petito timeline: When was she found and how did she die?

Monday 25 October 2021 13:20 , Eleanor Sly

See below for a timeline of events of the disappearance and homicide of Gabby Petito:

A timeline of events in the Gabby Petito case

Could Brian Laundrie’s notebook found by FBI explain what happened to him?

Monday 25 October 2021 12:44 , Eleanor Sly

Following the FBI’s announcement that a notebook of Brian Laundrie’s has been found, criminologists suggest it could contain answers about what happened to his fiancé Gabby Petito.

A number of items including a backpack and the notebook were located near human remains from the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park by investigators on Wednesday.

“Earlier today investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items, such as a backpack and notebook, belonging to Brian Laundrie,” said Tampa-based Special Agent Michael McPherson during a media conference that afternoon, explaining: “These items were found in an area that up until recently had been underwater.”

Helen Elfer has more:

Could Brian Laundrie’s notebook found by FBI explain what happened to him?

Laundries not charged but there were ‘conversations’ says attorney

Monday 25 October 2021 12:22 , Eleanor Sly

Currently no charges have been filed against Chris and Roberta Laundrie and they’ve not been named suspects in the disappearance of their late son’s fiance, Gabby Petito.

Their attorney, Steven Bertolino, said however that “conversations were had several weeks ago with the FBI.” These were “with respect to certain charges” he went on.

Speaking to CNBC in an interview, he said: “What I can tell you is that conversations were had several weeks ago with the FBI with respect to certain charges. When questioned and when communications were had between myself and the FBI, I think it was realised that charges were not appropriate.”

Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Monday 25 October 2021 12:00 , Eleanor Sly

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Brian Laundrie and his parents, sat down with NBC News on Thursday, just hours after learning that the skull fragments found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park the previous day belonged to his client.

During the interview, Mr Bertolino revealed that he is a long-time friend of the Laundries and said he watched both Mr Laundrie and his sister, Cassie, grow up. He said that Chris Laundrie, Mr Laundrie’s father, confirmed to him that the remains found on Wednesday were his son’s.

When asked how the parents were taking the news, Mr Bertolino said that a parent learning their child has died is “sad under any circumstances,” going on to say that the protesters who have been heckling the Laundries for weeks have not made the grieving process easier.

Graig Graziosi writes:

Laundrie attorney denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Investigation has to ‘fit a puzzle’

Monday 25 October 2021 11:42 , Eleanor Sly

According to NewsNation Now reporter Michael Shure, the evidence and clues surrounding Brian Laundrie’s death have to “fit a puzzle.”

He explained: “This is a murder investigation into the homicide of Gabby Petito, so, were their things in Brian Laundrie’s personal effects, in the dry bag, in the backpack in anything that may have been recovered subsequent to the finding of his remains, that would lead people to understand how Gabby Petito died, and if in fact Brian Laundrie was the person who killed his former girlfriend.”

Mr Shure went on to add that working out what exactly went on “relies on the findings of the forensic anthropologist and also what is in the notebook that they found.”

He added: “They said that the notebook is “salvageable” that’s what the FBI said so the fact that it’s salvageable means that maybe they can learn a little bit about the mental state of Brian Laundrie or if he had any kind of confession or suicide note among his personal belongings that were found.”

The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Monday 25 October 2021 11:02 , Eleanor Sly

It began with the most modest of announcements.

“Blue Point Woman Reported Missing,” the Suffolk County Police Department tweeted on 13 September.

The day before, the force had revealed that its first ever pick-up basketball game had “been a success”. The following day, it provided an update about traffic work on the Long Island Expressway.

Writes Andrew Buncombe:

The sad saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Monday 25 October 2021 10:40 , Eleanor Sly

The Petito family attorney, Richard Stafford, told Fox News reporter Michael Ruiz that the water bottle that a TikTok user found on a hike was identical to the bottle in Gabby Petito’s YouTube video.

While there has been no official confirmation that the water bottle did belong to Ms Petito, her family’s attorney told Mr Ruiz it could have been hers.

“It looks like hers,” he said. “We have a picture that’s from before she left for her trip. It looks like that bottle. I don’t know why it would be left there.”

A statement from North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said: “As far as I know, nothing related to this case has been found. Bunch of false reports. However, this is an FBI-led investigation and they should speak to anything such as that located. They may know more,” reported The Sun.

Police installed cameras around Laundrie’s house

Monday 25 October 2021 10:05 , Eleanor Sly

Police put up hidden cameras around the Laundries’ house and in their neighbour’s back yard after his disappearance.

According to NewsNation Now’s Brian Entin, North Port Police put some of the cameras up sooner and “before Brian disappeared.”

North Port Police officer: ‘This case from the onset has been odd’

Monday 25 October 2021 09:27 , Eleanor Sly

An officer from North Port Police said that they case has been “odd” from the start.

Speaking in an interview with Brian Entin from NewsNation Now, Josh Taylor from the North Port Police explained: “This case from the onset, has been odd, we’ve said odd over and over again.”

When asked whether or not he thought it was unusual that Brian Laundrie’s parents were in the reserve when his remains were discovered, Mr Taylor said: “I think it is a coincidence, that’s my belief”

On whether the police has intended to keep closer tabs on Mr Laundrie, Mr Taylor commented: “No, our intention was to keep an eye on Brian and clearly him going out there, we missed him going out there.”

The North Port Police Public Information Officer went on to suggest that the cause of Mr Laundrie’s death will eventually be determined.

When questioned, he said: “I think that’ll be something that they piece together, there was bones, scattered around, so I think you have to put all that back together and then work on those details.”

Brian Laundrie: Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s boyfriend

Monday 25 October 2021 08:55 , Eleanor Sly

Human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday have been confirmed as belonging to Brian Laundrie.

The FBI confirmed on Thursday afternoon they had been able to match Mr Laundrie’s dental records to the skeletal remains, which were found near a backpack and notebook belonging to the missing fugitive.

“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,” the FBI’s Denver office Tweeted.

Helen Elfer has more here:

Everything we know about Brian Laundrie as his remains are identified

Laundrie cause of death could be very difficult to determine

Monday 25 October 2021 08:31 , Eleanor Sly

Brian Laundrie’s cause of death could be incredibly hard to determine, according to Jennifer Shen, forensics expert and former director of the San Diego Police Crime Lab.

Speaking to The US Sun, she said that due to the remains being at such an advanced stage of composition, it could be hard to work out what caused Mr Laundrie to die.

She explained: "Anytime a body has been exposed to the elements, particularly ones as devastating as those found in swampy water, physical clues leading to cause of death, information about injuries, and sometimes the ability to identify a body can be very difficult to find.”

Adding: "In this case, investigators knew who they were looking for, and dental records were readily available. This is what allowed them to quickly identify the skeletal remains as Brian’s."

Ms Shen went on to explain that unless Mr Laundrie’s remains were to show signs of "severe trauma to the skeletal structure of the body, it will be very difficult to determine” what the cause of death could have been.

"Hanging, overdose, positional asphyxiation, all will be difficult, if not impossible to determine as the mechanism of death," she went on.

"To make things even more complex, there is likely to have been significant animal activity, perhaps leading to missing limbs, or adding damage to the body not related to cause or manner of death."

Crime scenes critical in investigation

Monday 25 October 2021 08:05 , Eleanor Sly

Some of the most important components in working out exactly what happened to Gabby Petito are the crime scenes, said Paul Belli a retired lieutenant of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and president of the International Homicide Investigators Association, reported CNN.

Ms Petito’s autopsy revealed that she died by manual strangulation with the coroner, Dr Brent Blue, explaining: "Throttling means that someone was strangled by human force. There was no mechanical force involved.”

He also added that her body had likely been in the wilderness for around three or four weeks prior to its discovery.

According to Mr Belli, clues such as fingerprints could help to revel who was responsible for Gabby’s death, although whether or not fingerprints are collected depends on the condition of the remains.

Mr Belli explained that as the pair were in a relationship: "You would expect DNA on either one of them from the other."

He added: "But I mean, if there’s DNA maybe where it shouldn’t be, that could be kind of a clue as to what may have occurred."

"So there are ways to absolutely, at least get you to a point where you’re like, ok, this definitely makes sense, this is the person who did this crime,’" he said.

Gabby Petito’s brother shares tribute to her on Instagram

Monday 25 October 2021 07:37 , Eleanor Sly

Gabby Petito’s brother, TJ Schmidt, posted an image of sky lanterns being released in memory of his sister Gabby.

TJ is the only sibling that Ms Petito shared both her parents with. Writing above his post on Instagram he said: “Lighting up the sky for you gabs! Love you forever!”

Laundrie family won’t hold funeral for Brian but plan meeting ‘to grieve’

Monday 25 October 2021 07:18 , Eleanor Sly

The family of Brian Laundrie was meeting on Sunday “to grieve”, their lawyer told The Independent – but there are no plans to hold a funeral for the 23-year-old in the future.

Mr Laundrie was at the centre of an interstate manhunt before his remains were identified last week in a Florida swamp.

The Long Island native was wanted in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito – who had last been heard from at the end of August.

Sheila Flynn reports:

Laundrie family won’t hold funeral for Brian but plan meeting ‘to grieve’

Gabby Petito Foundation announces yearly high school scholarships

Monday 25 October 2021 07:01 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The Gabby Petito Foundation announced a “yearly scholarship opportunity for a student graduating from her hometown schools” on their website.

The statement on the website said that “the Gabby Petito Scholarship’s goal is to award a $1000 scholarship to a graduating senior pursuing a future in the visual or performing arts.”

It added that the “recipient will personify Gabby’s youthful and free-spirited likeness and be chosen by the peers of the art program.”

Why Laundrie remains are being studied by forensic anthropologist

Monday 25 October 2021 07:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A forensic anthropologist has explained how finding clues to indicate Brian Laundrie’s cause of death will depend on whether he suffered injuries that affected his bones.

Dr Erin Kimmerle, an associate professor of forensic anthropology at the University of Southern Florida, told NewsNation Prime: “If it turns out that it was something that only affected soft tissue, or if it’s something that involves only toxicology, then I think that’s where the question remains in terms of what they’ll be able to figure out.”

Last week, Brian Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Brian Laundrie’s parents, told reporters that the remains were sent to an anthropologist because the medical examiners could not determine a cause of death themselves.

Mr Kimmerle said: “It’s very common for forensic anthropologists to get involved, anytime there is decomposing, or skeletonised remains; we work as essentially expert witness or scientific witness for medical examiners.”

It was reported that the medical examiner had only “bones and a partial skull” to work with.

Police have said that they’ll “eventually” find out the cause of Brian Laundrie’s death.

Meanwhile, Mr Kimmerle also answered questions on whether anthropologists can tell if Laundrie’s remains were tampered with. “If they can properly excavate that scene, then you get a lot of that information in context back and so that would be the key for trying to make interpretations about the circumstances surrounding death,” he said.

Opinion: Brian Laundrie’s death isn’t what we should care about in the Gabby Petito case

Monday 25 October 2021 07:00 , Graig Graziosi

Kathleen N. Walsh argues in The Independent’s Voices section that domestic violence, and not Brian Laundrie’s death, should be the focus of America’s attention as the Gabby Petito case draws to a close.

“The FBI confirmed on Thursday that the human remains investigators found in a Florida park were those of Brian Laundrie, ending a weeks-long manhunt that has consumed the attention of internet sleuths, true crime obsessives, and actual law enforcement. My honest reaction?

Who cares?”

Read the rest of her argument in the story below...

Brian Laundrie’s death isn’t what we should care about in the Gabby Petito case

‘I’m upset, I’m angry’: Brian Laundrie’s lawyer Steven Bertolino’s TV outburst

Monday 25 October 2021 06:00 , Graig Graziosi

People outside the Laundrie family’s home were screaming and causing a ruckus even as the family was grieving their son Brian Laundrie, their lawyer told a news channel on Thursday.

Steven Bertolino lashed out at the media, protesters and public in an interview with news channel NewsNation shortly after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed Brian Laundrie’s death on Thursday.

“I’m upset, I’m angry and for the last four hours I’ve been dealing with — I just have to call it nonsense,” he said.

The Independent’s Sravasti Dasgupta has more from Mr Bertolino below...

‘I’m upset, angry’: Brian Laundrie’s lawyer Bertolino’s TV outburst

Police return to spot where Brian Laundrie's remains were found

Monday 25 October 2021 05:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Police returned on Sunday to the spot in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park where Brian Laundrie’s partial remains were found last week, to examine the area once again.

A TikTok influencer had earlier found a water bottle — identical to a bottle seen in a YouTube video posted by Gabby Petito — in the same place where the Laundries had discovered a dry bag that the FBI later confirmed belonged to Laundrie.

However, the North Port police spokesperson, Josh Taylor, later said that “as far as I know, nothing related to this case has been found. [These are a] bunch of false reports.”

He added: “This an FBI-led investigation and they should speak to anything such as that located. They may know more.”

Richard Stafford, the attorney representing Gabby Petito’s family, had said: “We have a picture that’s from before she left for her trip. It looks like the bottle. I don’t know why it would be left there. It boggles my mind.”

‘Let me grieve,’ Brian Laundrie’s father says

Monday 25 October 2021 05:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Chris Laundrie urged reporters to “please, let me grieve with my family” after he and his wife Roberta Laundrie stepped out of their house in North Port, Florida for the first time on Sunday since their son’s remains were identified last week.

Around 9.50 am, the couple stepped out of their home and when the news reporters pounced on them, the father said: “Please let me grieve with my family.”

The Laundries have decided not to hold a funeral service for their son whose skeletal remains were found last week in the Florida reserve, their attorney Steven Bertolino said.

Brian Laundrie’s remains will be cremated and given to his parents “when the time comes,” Mr Bertolino said.

Crime scene could reveal ‘incredible amount of information’

Monday 25 October 2021 05:23 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A veteran investigator says that clues to what happened to Brian Laundrie could lie at the crime scene at the Carlton Reserve where skeletal remains of Gabby Petito’s boyfriend were found last week.

Paul Belli, a retired lieutenant of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and president of the International Homicide Investigators Association was quoted by CNN as saying that even “finding phones in a case like this could also offer an incredible amount of information.”

He said that “I don’t think people realise the sheer volume of information that we now get on every case. Video, phone records ... if that vehicle had any information that can be gleaned from it with a GPS.”

The FBI confirmed last week that the remains found in the Florida reserve belonged to Brian Laundrie who had been missing since 17 September.

Laundrie had also been charged with debit card fraud and had a federal warrant in his name.

Mr Belli said: “There’s a lot of additional work to be done that has been in progress, most likely.”

Last photo of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie together emerges as he is confirmed dead

Monday 25 October 2021 05:05 , Graig Graziosi

Photos have emerged of the deceased couple Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, which may be the last candid pictures of them ever taken.

A photographer who didn’t know the couple snapped Laundrie and Petito together in Utah in the summer.

The Independent’s Helen Elfer has more about the photo below...

Last candid picture of Petito and Laundrie emerges

Locals reveal spot where Brian Laundrie remains found is full of alligators and ‘evil’ wild pigs

Monday 25 October 2021 04:00 , Graig Graziosi

Locals living near the Florida reserve where the remains of Brian Laundrie were found have said it is full of alligators and “evil” wild pigs which wouldn’t have left any flesh for investigators to identify.

Several locals have told media outlets that the 25,000-acre Carlton reserve is full of hungry wetland creatures which would have eaten any flesh found there.

The Independent’s Stuti Mishra has more in the story below...

Locals reveal spot where Brian Laundrie remains found is full of ‘evil’ wild pigs

Brian Laundrie autopsy fails to establish cause of death

Monday 25 October 2021 03:00 , Graig Graziosi

Law enforcement officials were unable to determine Brian Laundrie’s cause of death following an autopsy that was preformed on his remains.

Mr Laundrie’s remains have been sent to an anthropologist for additional analysis.

The Independent’s Gino Spocchia has more on the autopsy’s findings below...

Brian Laundrie autopsy fails to establish cause of death

Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him: ‘He was visibly upset’

Monday 25 October 2021 02:00 , Graig Graziosi

Brian Laundrie’s parents have said he was “very upset” before he left his home and his father felt helpless when he could not stop him from leaving, according to their family lawyer, Steven Bertolino.

The Independent’s Namita Singh reveals more from Mr Laundrie’s parents in the story below.

Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him: ‘He was visibly upset’

The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Monday 25 October 2021 01:00 , Graig Graziosi

Both Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are dead, culminating a weeks-long search for answers in the slaying of the young social media influencer and her person of interest boyfriend.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe revisits the twisting, tragic tale and examines what Americans’ fascination with the story says about our culture.

The sad saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Monday 25 October 2021 00:10 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Brian Laundrie and his parents, told NBC News this week that he was “a little bit angry that people are even speculating this way,” after people suggested the 23-year-old’s parents had cooperated with the FBI and North Port Police in some form.

Mr Bertolino pointed out that North Port police put out a statement saying they had searched the area previously but it was underwater at the time due to heavy rains in September.

The police said in separate statement that they were “100 per cent confident” neither of the Laundries brought any of the discovered items with them into the park that day, as Graig Graziosi writes.

Laundrie attorney denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Why did the search for Brian Laundrie take weeks?

Sunday 24 October 2021 23:40 , Gino Spocchia

Brian was reported missing from his home in North Port on 17 September, two days after he was named a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance, and three days after he walked off into the Carlton Reserve where his body was found on Wednesday. His family said their son left home on 13 September, telling his parents Chris and Robert Laundrie he was going for a hike in the 25,000-acre (10,100-hectare) Carlton Reserve a few miles away. That was not unsusual for him, according to reports.

His family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, said in recent interviews that he told the FBI on 13 September that Laundrie failed to return home that night — North Port Police have since suggested they “missed” him leaving the home.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials spent weeks searching the reserve, where at one point 75 per cent of the land had been under water, according to The Associated Press. The area is home to alligators, bobcats, coyotes and snakes. Although divers and cadaver dogs were brought in, it wasn’t until the heavy late-summer rains stopped and the water receded that Laundrie‘s remains and a backpack and notebook belonging to him were found with his parents, who told police they wanted to assist on Wednesday when the park reopened to the public.

Did parents lead FBI to Laundrie?

Sunday 24 October 2021 23:10 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

As Namita Singh writes, the belongings and later body of Brian Laundrie were located after his parents “advised” police on where to look on the Carlton Reserve.

Their involvement has raised questions about the search, which have been denied by both the family’s lawyer Steven Bertolino, and North Port Police, of any conspiracy.

Did Brian Laundrie’s parents lead FBI to spot where remains and notebook were found?

Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Sunday 24 October 2021 22:40 , Alex Woodward

#icymi

Gabby Petito’s body was discovered on 19 September in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

Brian Laundrie left home on 12 September without speaking to police and disappeared. A search for him began on 17 September, but his remains were not located until 20 October after water in the Carlton Reserve receded.

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, told NBC News that charges were discussed but that there was no “threat, no coercion, and no deal was cut” with the FBI.

More from his revealing interview here:

Laundrie attorney denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Items found today not related to Laundrie investigation, say police

Sunday 24 October 2021 22:10 , Gino Spocchia

A reporter for Fox News, Michael Ruiz, shared footage of what a hiker on the Carlton Reserve today claimed was connectedt to Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito — but as North Port Police have since confirmed to News Nation Now, was not in fact related.

Here’s his tweet....

Phone records and hard drive could aid investigation

Sunday 24 October 2021 21:40 , Gino Spocchia

Stephen Belli, the homicide investigator and former law enforcement official who spoke with CNN about investigating Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie’s deaths, also said phone data could provide further information as to what happened before their deaths.

Highlighting that police obtained a hard drive, and possibly mobile phones if found, Mr Belli said there was an “incredible amount of information”.

The contents of that hard drive have yet to be revealed.

Police earlier confirmed to CNN that they did not have either of the phones belonging to Ms Petito or Mr Laundrie, who left home on 13 September without a phone or wallet, it was alleged.

Video collected by FBI could lead to clues

Sunday 24 October 2021 21:10 , Gino Spocchia

Paul Belli, a retired lieutenant and president of the International Homicide Investigators Association, told CNN in an interview that video footage gathered by FBI investigators could hold clues to what happened to the couple.

“I don’t think people realise the sheer volume of information that we now get on every case,” Mr Belli said. “Video, phone records... if that vehicle had any information that can be gleaned from it with a GPS.”

“Laundrie was charged with using a debit card and PIN for accounts that did not belong to him after Petito’s death, according to an indictment.“ [Authorities] probably collected video from wherever those were used, video for wherever he may have appeared to stop for a period of time. I doubt he drove completely straight through,” Mr Belli said.

“So, there’s a lot of additional work to be done that has been in progress, most likely.”

Petito’s parents share artwork inspired by daughter

Sunday 24 October 2021 20:40 , Gino Spocchia

Joseph and Tara Petito have shared an image of artwork sent to them by a fan of Gabby Petito, their daughter, whose body was found last month in Wyoming following a road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

The parents and step-parents of Ms Petito set up the foundation following her death to support the work of organisations searching for missing persons.

Items found today are ‘nothing related’ to Laundrie, police say

Sunday 24 October 2021 20:10 , Gino Spocchia

Brian Entin, of News Nation now, says North Port Police have confirmed that items reportedly found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve were nothing to do with Brian Laundrie.

It remains unclear what the items were reported to be.

Here’s his tweet...

Can investigators determine if Laundrie killed Petito?

Sunday 24 October 2021 19:40 , Alex Woodward

DNA matching to determine if Brian Laundrie killed Gabby Petito may also prove difficult to prove, because of both the nature of the remains that were recovered and that there romantically involved, forensic experts told The Associated Press.

“Reconstruction experts can do amazing things, so I would not be surprised if at some point we got a definitive, or near-definitive, conclusion that Laundrie was the killer,” said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University.

How did Brian Laundrie die?

Sunday 24 October 2021 19:10 , Alex Woodward

Determining how Brian Laundrie died could be challenging for investigators handling decomposed remains. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that,” retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente told CNN this week. “But what it does mean is that it’s going to be much more difficult to make a good, solid determination as to the cause and manner of death.”

He added: “Unless there’s some kind of major, serious trauma to the skull that can be identified, there might not be a way to determine how he died ... If he drowned, for example, there wouldn’t be any evidence of that on a skeleton.”

Artist of wing mural to honour Gabby Petito

Sunday 24 October 2021 18:40 , Gino Spocchia

An artist has said he will honour Gabby Petito with replicas around Old Colorado City of the Valentines Day mural she was pictured standing in front of, and shared by her father after she went missing.

Joseph Petito, the murdered 22-year-old’s father, had said she “touched the world” and shared an image of Ms Petito standing in front of the wing mural in Colorado. It soon went viral.

Its artist, Diego Jaguart, told KKTV that he was repairing the mural on a weekly basis since Ms Petito went missing last month, and that he “saw the picture of Gabby on my mural, she looks like an angel...She looks very happy in the picture. She looked free”.

Mr Jaguart, along with his wife, said a special mural in honour of Ms Petito will also be painted in Old Colorado City, after her murder.

A tragedy for two families

Sunday 24 October 2021 18:10 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

As Andrew Buncombe writes, Many questions remain unanswered about the case, not least the precise circumstances of the death of a young woman who had, according to her mother, “wanted to cross the country in the camper van and live the van life and live free”.

And what was it that led to the discovery of Laundrie’s body, more than a month after he went missing?

One certainty is that the case has ended in tragedy for two families.

The sad saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – and what it tells us about America

Ex-NYPD investigator says Laundrie investigation ‘a mess'

Sunday 24 October 2021 17:30 , Gino Spocchia

A retired NYPD lieutenant commander has been the latest to accuse FBI investigators and North Port Police of mishandling the search for Brian Laundrie, which finished this week.

Tom Joyce, in an interview with The Sun, said the notion of allowing Mr Laundrie’s father to go “walking off by himself during such a high stakes investigation is beyond me.”

“If this was my case and I walked in there with the suspect’s parents, I would never let them out of my sight,” Mr Joyce told the newspaper. “Rule number one is that you do not let that person go until you know exactly what you’re dealing with.”

His remarks come amid criticism of Mr Laundrie’s parents for initially refusing to cooperate with police, before attending a search with the FBI on Wednesday — the first day the nature reserve where his body was found, was reopened to the public.

No funeral for Brian Laundrie, report says

Sunday 24 October 2021 17:00 , Gino Spocchia

Chris and Roberta Laundrie will reportedly cremate the remains of Brian Laundrie when the time comes, their lawyer Steven Bertolino has said.

Mr Bertolino told Fox News’s Claudia Kelly-Bazan that there will be no funeral for the 23-year-old either.

It remains unclear when FBI investigations and an anthropological examination will conclude.

Florida reserve full of alligators and ‘evil’ pigs, locals say

Sunday 24 October 2021 16:10 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

Locals living near the Florida reserve where the remains of Brian Laundrie were found have said it is full of alligators and “evil” wild pigs which wouldn’t have left any flesh for investigators to identify.

Several locals have told media outlets that the 25,000-acre Carlton reserve is full of hungry wetland creatures which would have eaten any flesh found there, as Stuti Mishra writes.

“I walk there all the time and there won’t be much of the remains left,” John Widmann, who lives about a mile from the reserve, said in an interview.

Locals reveal spot where Brian Laundrie remains found is full of ‘evil’ wild pigs

What will the FBI do with items salvaged from scene?

Sunday 24 October 2021 15:40 , Gino Spocchia

Items taken from the site where Brian Laundrie was found will likely be taken to an FBI lab for further analysis, according to a former FBI official.

Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, told CNN on Thursday that FBI labs have “experts who really spend their careers doing things like drying out paper evidence, trying to recover the writing and the ink marks and potentially fingerprints and all sorts of other potentially relevant pieces of evidence”.

It follows reports that a notebook belonging to the 23-year-old was found outside of a bag on Carlton Reserve, in an area that was recently under water.

Crime scenes hold clues to deaths of Petito and Laundrie

Sunday 24 October 2021 15:10 , Gino Spocchia

The scenes where both Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie died are where law enforcement are most likely to find clues as to how both died, a former officer in Sacramento and president of the International Homicide Investigators Association told CNN.

After a coroner said Ms Petito’s body had been strangled to death, Paul Belli said “Throttling means that someone was strangled by human force. There was no mechanical force involved”.

While the deaths of the couple, who were travelling together on a road trip that ended abruptly, occurred seperately, Mr Laundrie was named a person of interest in the murder of Ms Peito, his fiancé.

Mr Belli said that can often be a problem for investigators who “would expect DNA on either one of them from the other.

“But I mean, if there’s DNA maybe where it shouldn’t be, that could be kind of a clue as to what may have occurred,” the former law enforcement officer added.

When will FBI be able to establish a cause of death?

Sunday 24 October 2021 14:40 , Gino Spocchia

As Helen Elfer writes, identifying Brian Laundrie’s remains was expected to be difficult because they were skeletal and partial, and had been underwater for some time before being found on Wednesday.

Instead, investigators may be forced to look for clues from a notebook that was located nearby. As will an examination by an anthropologist aid the inquiry, after the family’s lawyer confirmed that an autopsy was inconclusive.

Brian Laundrie: When will FBI be able to establish cause of death?

Former FBI deputy director says Laundries ‘generated a lot of suspicion’

Sunday 24 October 2021 14:10 , Gino Spocchia

Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, told CNN on Friday that Brian Laundrie’s parents had conducted themselves “in a very odd way” during the search for the 23-year-old.

Mr McCabe said the Laundries, who did not speak with police until 17 September, “generated a lot of suspicion right from the beginning”, after the remains of the 23-year-old were identified on Thursday.

Mr McCabe was among many former members of the FBI and law enforcement to highlight discrepancies in accounts of what happened between Mr Laundrie returning home on 11 September and going missing around 13 September.

The family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, has refuted claims that the Laundries did anything wrong — or cooperated with the FBI, who reportedly were informed days ahead of North Port police that Brian Laundrie had vanished from his home, which was being watched.

Many questions remain.

Chris Laundrie seen hammering ‘no trespassing’ signs into front lawn

Sunday 24 October 2021 13:42 , Gino Spocchia

Chris Laundrie was seen hammering “no trespassing” signs into his front lawn on Saturday, days after FBI investigators confirmed that remains discovered on Wednesday in Florida’s Carlton Reserve were of his son.

As WFLA reported, the signs were put up as an investigation into Brian Laundrie’s death — and that of his murdered fiancé, Gabby Petito — continued. Media outlets have been stationed outside the home for days.

Laundrie’s last encounter with parents before disappearance

Sunday 24 October 2021 13:26 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

Brian Laundrie’s parents said he was “very upset” before he left his home around 13 September and his father felt helpless when he could not stop him from leaving, according to their family lawyer.

Recounting the moments before Laundrie left his house for Florida’s Carlton Reserve, Steven Bertolino told NBC News this week that Mr Laundrie’s father wished he “did not let him go”.

“Brian was very upset when he left and Chris conveyed to me several times that you know, he wish he did not let him go but he could not stop,” Mr Bertolino said.

This has been a painful saga for the parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, since 13 September, Mr Bertolino said in the interview. “But Brian is a grown man. He was 22 years old. He wanted to walk out the door, he was entitled to walk out the door.”

Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him: ‘He was visibly upset’

Lawyer argues about when he reported Laundrie missing to FBI

Sunday 24 October 2021 12:40 , Gino Spocchia

Chris and Roberta Laundrie’s family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, has argued that he was “not responsible” for communications between the FBI and North Port Police after Brian Laundrie went missing in a nature reserve in Florida.

Mr Bertolino, speaking on News Nation Now on Saturday, told reporter Brian Entin that he did inform the FBI that Mr Laundrie was missing around 13 September — despite North Port Police telling Mr Entin that they did not become aware of his disappearance until 17 September.

Mr Bertolino said North Port Police also told him they were “completely shocked to find that Brian wasn’t in the house” by the end of that week — by which time, he had vanished into the Carlton Reserve, where his body was found on Wednesday.

Here’s that interview...

Artist of wing mural to honour Gabby Petito

Sunday 24 October 2021 12:10 , Gino Spocchia

An artist has said he will honour Gabby Petito with replicas around Old Colorado City of the Valentines Day mural she was pictured standing in front of, and shared by her father after she went missing.

Joseph Petito, the murdered 22-year-old’s father, had said she “touched the world” and shared an image of Ms Petito standing in front of the wing mural in Colorado. It soon went viral.

Its artist, Diego Jaguart, told KKTV that he was repairing the mural on a weekly basis since Ms Peito went missing last month, and that he “saw the picture of Gabby on my mural, she looks like an angel...She looks very happy in the picture. She looked free”.

Mr Jaguart, along with his wife, said a special mural in honour of Ms Petito will also be painted in Old Colorado City, after he murder.

Autopsy on Brian Laundrie was ‘inconclusive'

Sunday 24 October 2021 11:38 , Gino Spocchia

#icymi

An autopsy on the remains of Brian Laundrie were inconclusive, according to his family’s attorney Steven Bertolino, and will now be sent to an anthropologist for further examination.

The body of the missing 23-year-old was found on Wednesday by investigators looking with his family in Carlton Reserve, a 25,000 acre wildlife park in Florida.

His remains, which North Port police described as “bones”, will now be sent to an anthropologist for further examination, Mr Bertolino said.

Brian Laundrie autopsy fails to establish cause of death

No funeral for Brian Laundrie, report says

Sunday 24 October 2021 10:55 , Gino Spocchia

Chris and Roberta Laundrie will reportedly cremate the remains of Brian Laundrie when the time comes, their lawyer Steven Bertolino has said.

Mr Bertolino told Fox News’s Claudia Kelly-Bazan that there will be no funeral for the 23-year-old either.

It remains unclear when FBI investigations and an anthropological examination will conclude.

Indigenous women condemn media for ignoring ‘epidemic of violence’

Sunday 24 October 2021 06:30 , Alex Woodward

Revisit The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe on the striking imbalance – something that was was termed “missing white woman syndrome” by the late Black broadcaster Gwen Ifill in 2004 – of rates of violence against and media coverage for missing women of colour and cases like Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.

“As native people, we already know we come up against racism on a daily basis, and also a sense of not being important,” said Lynnette Grey-Bull, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. “We understand that if we don’t have blonde hair, or blue eyes, we don’t get to make it on the six o’clock news or front page of the morning edition. These things don’t happen for us.”

Indigenous women: Media not Gabby Petito is to blame for ignored ‘violence epidemic’

Last photo of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie together emerges as he is confirmed dead

Sunday 24 October 2021 05:45 , Alex Woodward

A photographer who didn’t know the couple snapped Laundrie and Petito together in Utah in the summer. It may be the last candid pictures of them ever taken.

“They stood out because they had the ‘van life’ look to them, and I remember feeling envious because they seemed like enthusiasts,” the photographer told Fox News.

Last candid picture of Petito and Laundrie emerges

Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

Sunday 24 October 2021 04:30 , Alex Woodward

Gabby Petito’s body was discovered on 19 September in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

Brian Laundrie left home on 12 September without speaking to police and disappeared. A search for him began on 17 September, but his remains were not located until 20 October after water in the Carlton Reserve receded.

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, told NBC News that charges were discussed but that there was no “threat, no coercion, and no deal was cut” with the FBI.

More from his revealing interview here:

Laundrie attorney denies deal with FBI and insists parents not facing charges

How were Brian Laundrie’s remains missed for 33 days but then found by his parents in a few hours?

Sunday 24 October 2021 03:30 , Alex Woodward

Wednesday, 20 October, began like every other in the 33 days since Brian Laundrie was reported missing.

Then, around midday, came a flurry of news. Chris and Roberta Laundrie were at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and had contacted law enforcement the night before to ask them to accompany them to the site.

Within minutes, a “dry bag” containing personal items belonging to Mr Laundrie had been recovered.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley on the discovery of Mr Laundrie’s remains:

How were Brian Laundrie’s remains found by his parents in a few hours?

Can investigators determine if Laundrie killed Petito?

Sunday 24 October 2021 02:30 , Alex Woodward

DNA matching to determine if Brian Laundrie killed Gabby Petito may also prove difficult to prove, because of both the nature of the remains that were recovered and that there romantically involved, forensic experts told The Associated Press.

“Reconstruction experts can do amazing things, so I would not be surprised if at some point we got a definitive, or near-definitive, conclusion that Laundrie was the killer,” said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University.

How did Brian Laundrie die?

Sunday 24 October 2021 01:30 , Alex Woodward

Determining how Brian Laundrie died could be challenging for investigators handling decomposed remains.“It doesn’t necessarily mean that,” retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente told CNN this week. “But what it does mean is that it’s going to be much more difficult to make a good, solid determination as to the cause and manner of death.”

He added: “Unless there’s some kind of major, serious trauma to the skull that can be identified, there might not be a way to determine how he died ... If he drowned, for example, there wouldn’t be any evidence of that on a skeleton.”

Brian Laundrie autopsy fails to establish cause of death

Sunday 24 October 2021 00:45 , Alex Woodward

Catch up with the latest: An autopsy on the remains of Brian Laundrie were inconclusive, according to his family’s attorney, and will now be sent to an anthropologist for further examination.

More from The Independent’s Gino Spocchia:

Brian Laundrie autopsy fails to establish cause of death

Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him

Saturday 23 October 2021 22:45 , Alex Woodward

Brian Laundrie’s parents have said he was “very upset” before he left his home and his father felt helpless when he could not stop him from leaving, according to their family lawyer.

Recounting the moments before Laundrie left his house for Florida’s Carlton reserves, Steven Bertolino told NBC News that Laundrie’s father wished he “did not let him go”.

“Brian was very upset when he left and Chris conveyed to me several times that you know, he wish he did not let him go but he could not stop,” Mr Bertolino said.

Brian Laundrie’s parents reveal final moments with him: ‘He was visibly upset’

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

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