Human remains found in search of Brian Laundrie in Florida, FBI says

Human remains were found in a densely wooded Florida park on Wednesday, near a notebook and other items belonging to a man who was decla...


Human remains were found in a densely wooded Florida park on Wednesday, near a notebook and other items belonging to a man who was declared a “person of interest” in the murder of his fiancee, the FBI said. .

The discovery came seven weeks after the man, Brian Laundry, returned home after a long van trip without the fiancée, Gabrielle Petito, and about four weeks after she was found dead in a Wyoming national forest.

Michael F. McPherson, the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Tampa, said authorities found a notebook and backpack that belonged to Mr. Laundrie near what appeared to be human remains in the environmental park of Myakkahatchee Creek, a heavily forested area, 160 acre park in North Port, Florida.

The park is connected to Carlton Reserve, a 24,565 acres wildlife refuge, where authorities had been looking for Mr. Laundrie for weeks. The objects were found in an area that until recently was underwater, McPherson said.

He said an evidence response team was using “all available forensic resources” to process the scene, which could take several days. The reserve and the park have been closed to the public, he said.

“I know you have a lot of questions, but we don’t have all the answers yet,” McPherson said at a press conference in which he did not answer questions. “We are working diligently to get those answers for you. “

Discovery of remains could end Mr Laundrie’s search after Ms Petito’s body was found in September in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

A coroner determined that Ms. Petito’s death was homicide, and that the cause was the strangulation. Coroner Dr Brent Blue of Teton County, Wyo., Said his body had been outside for three to four weeks. before its discovery on September 19.

Mr Laundrie’s items and remains were found on Wednesday after his parents Chris and Roberta Laundrie informed the FBI and police on Tuesday night that they intended to come to the park on Wednesday morning to search for their son, the family lawyer. Steven Bertolino said in a statement. Mr Bertolino said law enforcement met the parents at the park on Wednesday morning.

After a brief search off a trail frequented by Mr. Laundrie, family and law enforcement found “certain items” belonging to him, Mr. Bertolino said. The discovery prompted a “further investigation of this area” by law enforcement.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Wednesday that it had brought a dog specially trained to find human remains in the park, at the request of local police.

Authorities and Ms Petito’s family members were still searching for answers as to what happened during and after the couple’s trip across the country, which Ms Petito, 22, and Mr Laundrie, 23, recounted at length on social networks.

Ms Petito left with Mr Laundrie from New York in July in a white Ford pickup truck equipped with a bed and other necessities to visit national parks and the nomadic journeys they called “Van life.”

On September 1, Mr. Laundrie returned to the North Port, Florida home where he and Ms. Petito were living. He went there, alone, in the van, which had been registered in Ms. Petito’s name.

Ten days later, Ms. Petito’s family reported her missing. The search for her quickly involved FBI and National Park rangers and spanned at least two states. Through a lawyer, Mr. Laundrie had refused to speak to investigators, according to police, who described him as a “person of interest” and not as a suspect.

Then, six days after Ms Petito went missing, Mr Laundrie’s parents told police they had not seen him for several days, starting a second search for a missing person. Authorities began to search the Carlton Reserve, and the FBI served a search warrant on Laundrie’s residence.

On August 12, Moab, Utah, police responded to a report of a “domestic problem” between the couple, according to a police report. He said Mr. Laundrie and Ms. Petito were having “a bit of an argument”.

The report says he told her to go for a walk and calm down, and that both Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito told the police they were in love, engaged and “did not desperately want to see anyone charged with a crime” , the report said.

Mr Laundrie told an officer that “the problems between the two have built up over the past few days,” he said.

Body camera images shows that during the meeting Ms Petito cried and said she suffered from anxiety. In the police report, Ms Petito said she decided to slap Mr Laundrie because she feared he would “leave her in Moab without driving her”.

Both told police the episode should be classified as a “mental / emotional health break” and not a domestic assault, according to the report.

Police described Mr. Laundrie in the report as the victim of the incident. They arranged for him to stay in a hotel that night while Ms. Petito guarded the van. No charges have been filed, according to the report.

Alan Yu contributed reporting.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Human remains found in search of Brian Laundrie in Florida, FBI says
Human remains found in search of Brian Laundrie in Florida, FBI says
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