Human Remains Found in Florida Reserve Identified as Brian Laundrie, FBI Says
The remains were identified by comparing dental records, the FBI said in a statement.
Human remains found Wednesday in a Florida nature preserve have been identified as Brian Laundrie using dental records, the FBI said Thursday in a statement.
Laundrie's backpack and notebook were also found in the park, said Michael McPherson, agent-in-charge of the FBI Tampa field office, during a Wednesday press conference.
“These items were found in an area that up until recently have been underwater,” McPherson said. “Our evidence response team is on the scene using all available forensic resources to process the area. It’s likely the team will be on scene for several days."
On Wednesday, the Sarasota County Medical examiner was called in after the discovery. The location where the remains were found had been roped off, and cadaver dogs had been deployed to the site, officials said, the news outlet reported.
According to a source close to the investigation, the apparent human remains “appear to have been there a while,” CNN reported.
Laundrie's parents, Chris and Roberta, had already been at the preserve to help search for their son, when the human remains were found. Bertolino said they were found near a Bridge that connects the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and adjoining Carlton Reserve, the New York Post reported.
"It was quite near the entrance,” he said, "About 30 minutes in," the news outlet reported.
Around 8:45 a.m., the Laundries left the park and appeared emotional when they were confronted by protesters before they headed back home, the Post reported.
Bertolino said the family was heartbroken by the discoveries today, CNN reported.
After the Wednesday afternoon press conference Bertolino issued a statement on behalf of the Laundrie family, ABC affiliate WWSB reported.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie were at the reserve earlier today when human remains and some of Brian’s possessions were located in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be,” according to the statement.
He continued: “Chris and Roberta will wait for the forensic identification of the human remains before making any additional comments."
Myakkahatchee Park reopened to the public on Tuesday, but once the discovery was made, the reserve was closed again, the Post reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration declared a portion of the park a no-fly zone during the investigation, with the restriction to be lifted on Friday, the news outlet said.
Laundrie disappeared shortly after he was named a person of interest in connection to the disappearance of his 22-year-old fiance Gabby Petito. The couple has been traveling on a cross-country trip and blogging about their adventures, Inside Edition previously reported.
Petito was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11 after Laundrie came home from a cross-country road trip without her. Her remains were found eight days later in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, according to the news outlet.
Petito was strangled to death three to four weeks before she was found, according to autopsy results, Inside Edition reported.
On Sept. 22, the FBI issued a warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest on charges of unauthorized use of a debit card. He has not been charged in Petito's death.
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