It has been a month since the FBI found the remains of Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park. About a week ago, the coroner announced that her cause of death was strangulation. Today, the FBI has announced that they have found human remains in a Florida nature reserve where her boyfriend Brian Laundrie was believed to be hiding. Along with the remains, they also found items belonging to Laundrie.
What appears to be human remains and items belonging to Brian Laundrie, including a backpack, have been found in a nature reserve in North Port, Florida, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.
Another one of the items found was a notebook belonging to Laundrie, who McPherson said was “a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito.”
The apparent remains were found in an area that has been under water until recently, he said.
The remains apparently haven’t been DNA tested yet which is why they aren’t confirming the identity yet, but it’s a good bet this is Laundrie. The fact that the material had been underwater suggests he may have died sometime during the last month and then his body was covered with water which is why law enforcement couldn’t find him.
Laundrie’s parents claim they hadn’t seen him since he left home 37 days ago. However, yesterday they announced they wanted to be at the reserve during today’s search. So they were on the scene when the remains and other items were discovered.
Laundrie’s parents had informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department Tuesday night that they intended to come to the park on Wednesday morning to search for him, Bertolino said earlier. Law enforcement met them there Wednesday morning, he said.
The Sarasota County Medical Examiner was called to the scene, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s office said a cadaver dog and two spotters were also on site.
I don’t think we’re going to get any more surprises in this case. It appears that Laundrie and Petito had a troubled relationship and that, not long after the police stopped them in Utah, Laundrie strangled Petito. He then headed home in her van. Days later he disappeared into the nature reserve where he probably killed himself because he was overcome with guilt. Even a month ago there were suspicions that was how this story would end and now seems it has.
Here’s the full statement Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson made earlier this afternoon:
Update: Here’s some aerial video showing the location where the remains were found. Also, in the middle of this clip you can see Laundrie’s parents talking with someone. He appears to be showing them photos, possibly of the backpack.