The FBI confirmed that human remains that were found in a Florida nature preserve are those of Brian Laundrie, the fiancée of the late Gabby Petito.
Laundrie has been the focus of a massive manhunt by law enforcement officials since he told his family he was hiking into the Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve near his parents’ home and never returned.
On Wednesday, multiple news outlets reported that officials had discovered human remains at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida. That report said other articles were found that could have belonged to Laundrie.
On Thursday, the Denver office of the FBI said that dental records proved the remains belonged to Laundrie, who was the only person of interest in the strangulation homicide of Petito. Her remains were found on Sept. 19 in the Teton-Bridger National Forest.
“They are human remains, no doubt there. I would say that the remains were consistent with one individual, you know skeletal remains,” Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port police, said to CNN.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said that the articles found were Laundrie’s backpack and a notebook.
“The notebook to my understanding has not been opened,” Taylor explained. “You know, that will need to be processed.”
CNN said a source with knowledge of the investigation told them that the notebook was found outside of the backpack.
“It had been clearly wet and they are going to use any potential means to dry that out before opening it,” said the source. “They’ll be very careful with it.”
Taylor would not comment on whether a weapon was found near the remains.
He also said that Brian’s father, Chris Laundrie, was the first person who spotted the item that belonged to his son.
“It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belongings alongside some remains,” said Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino to Chris Cuomo on CNN.
“That’s got to be heartbreaking,” he added. “And I can tell you that they are heartbroken.”
Here’s more about Brian Laundrie’s remains:
Brian Laundrie’s ‘bones’ found in previously underwater area of Florida preserve: FBI