Partial human remains have been found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, near where a backpack and notebook belonging toBrian Laundrie were found earlier that day - according to the FBI.
Laundrie’s parents, who had recently joined in the hunt for their son, visited the park to identify the body, and a Sarasota medical examiner has been called to the location. However, an identity has yet to be confirmed.
The remains were found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, located off the vast Carlton Reserve, an area that was previously underwater. FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said in a press conference.
Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains, along with personal items, such as a backpack and notebook, belonging to Brian Laundrie. These items were found in an area that up until recently have been under water.
Authorities involved in Laundrie’s search have been challenged by water in the reserve, with the Sarasota police bringing in the Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force, who are usually ‘called upon to search for evidence of crimes and victims of drowning, water accidents and foul play.’
Brian Laundrie has been missing for over a month
Brian Laundrie is the sole person of interest in the case of the murder of his fiance Gabby Petito. The pair had set off together for a cross country trip in early July. However, when Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home with the couple’s van on the 1st of September, Gabby was nowhere to be found.
Gabby Petito’s parents, who had become worried after not hearing from her, reported their daughter missing on the 11th of September.
According to Gabby’s parents, they had been trying to contact the Laundrie family during this time, but Brian’s parents wouldn’t return their calls or messages. Brian and his family also refused to engage with press or authorities at the time by the advice of their lawyer, sparking more suspicion amongst the public.
Brian was then also reported missing on the 17th of September after his parents revealed he had set off on a hike on the 14th and hadn’t returned. They then later changed their story, claiming they had last seen their son on Monday the 13th.
Gabby’s body was found in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on the 19th of September, with the coroner ruling the manner of death as a homicide. It was later announced that the 22-year-old had died by strangulation.
Shortly after his disappearance, an arrest warrant was also issued for Laundrie concerning bank fraud. The 23-year-old was found guilty of unlawfully using a bank card that didn’t belong to him. The Petito’s lawyer Richard Stafford later spoke on Dr Phil, confirming that the card belonged to Gabby and was used after her death.
Brian has now been missing for over a month, with authorities and search parties fruitlessly scouring both Florida’s Carlton Reserve and Fort De Soto National Park, where he went camping with his family not long before.
However, experts previously explained to the press that if Brian was in the wilderness, it was unlikely that he would still be alive due to a lack of clean drinking water and dangerous predators.
Could Brian’s family be involved?
Since Gabby’s case came to light, Brian’s parents have been hounded by the public, with many believing that the Laundries know more than they’re letting on.
The Petito family believe that Brian’s parents may have even helped their son evade authorities. Speaking on Dr Phil Gabby’s father, Joe Petito, questioned why the Laundries hadn’t joined in on the search for their son:
We couldn’t find Gabby. We did anything to find Gabby. What did they do to find Brian? I haven’t seen them on any TV shows... find Brian. Why do you think that is.
The Petitos have now said they want a face-to-face meeting with the Laundries to question why they have continued to protect Brian, even as evidence mounts against him.
It is still unknown whether Brian’s parents have been covering for him or if they will be facing any charges. However, Brian’s sister Cassie recently spoke to ABC News, stating that while she also doesn’t know the details, she would encourage both Brian and her parents to come forward.