Gabby Petito Case: Authorities Find Human Remains Near Brian Laundrie's Belongings

·3 min read

Authorities have found unidentified human remains near personal belongings of Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of slain influencer Gabby Petito, in a Florida park.

The apparent remains were found near Laundrie's backpack and notebook in the Carlton Reserve, in an area that was previously underwater, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said at a press conference on Oct. 20. He said the evidence response team will continue to investigate and process the area in the coming days.

"I know you have a lot of questions, but we don't have all the answers yet," McPherson said. "We are working diligently to get those answers for you."

A medical examiner and a cadaver dog were called to the scene, which is several miles from the home the couple shared with Laundrie's parents, to investigate the discoveries on Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office told NBC News.

Laundrie was named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance before his parents reported their son missing about five weeks ago.

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"Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve this morning in connection with the search for Brian Laundrie," tweeted the FBI office in Tampa. "An #FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene. The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time."

Laundrie's parents directed FBI agents and North Port, Fla. police to the location, their lawyer said.

Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie, Instagram
Instagram

"Chris and Roberta Laundrie went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian," attorney Steven Bertolino said in a statement to multiple outlets. "The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian's parents' intentions and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning. After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found. As of now law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area."

The entrance to the park is located is about five miles north of the Laundrie family home, NBC News reported.

Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie, Instagram
Instagram

Bertolino later stated that Laundrie's possessions were found in an area his parents "had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be," adding that the couple "will wait for the forensic identification of the human remains before making any additional comments."

Petito, 22, was found dead in a remote area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19, eight days after her parents reported her missing and 18 days after Laundrie, 23, returned alone from the couple's cross-country van road trip to his parents' Florida home, where the two lived. The Teton County Coroner's Office has said the cause of his fiancé's death was homicide by strangulation.

Laundrie's parents reported him missing in mid-September, soon after he returned home and after the FBI and police named him a person of interest in Petito's disappearance. While he is not a suspect in her murder, authorities did issue a federal warrant for his arrest after he was indicted for unauthorized use of a debit card in the days after his fiancée last spoke to her parents in late August.

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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