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FBI working to identify human remains found near Brian Laundrie’s belongings in Fla. park

Randy Mancini 15 October 20, 2021
FILE - This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park. Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with him, has been charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continue looking for him in Florida swampland, federal authorities announced Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)

FILE – This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park. (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)

As the search for Brian Laundrie continues, the FBI delivered and update to the country regarding the hunt for the fugitive.

“Investigators found what appeared to be human remains along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie,” announced Special Agent Michael McPherson of the Tampa Bureau.

Officials said on Wednesday the items were found in an area that until recently had been underwater.

“Our evidence response team is on the scene using all available forensic resources to process the area,” McPherson continued.

According to the Special Agent, it’s likely the team will be on scene for several days, working diligently to find the answers to the many lingering questions surrounding the case.

The Sarasota County coroner and a cadaver dog have since been sent to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which is a part of the Carlton Nature Reserve. Portions of the park and Carlton Reserve remain closed to the public until further notice after just having been reopened on Tuesday following a weeks-long manhunt for Laundrie.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation, so we ask the public to maintain distance for many law enforcement personnel, equipment, vehicles, and other related activity for the safety of the public and to protect the integrity of our work, ” McPherson stated.

North Port, Fla., police officer block the entrance to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in North Port, Fla. Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found in a Florida wilderness park during a search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito . (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

North Port, Fla., police officer block the entrance to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in North Port, Fla. Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found in a Florida wilderness park during a search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito . (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Laundrie family attorney said there’s a strong probability suspected remains found in Florida could be Brian’s. At this time, he’s the only person of interest in the death of his former fiancé Gabby Petito.

Petito was found dead in mid-September following their cross country van trip together. However, Laundrie returned home without her and has been missing ever since.

A Wyoming coroner released the autopsy results regarding Petito’s cause of death. Teton County coroner Brent Blue made the announcement, noting her cause of death was manual strangulation. This means it was done not with a ligature, but most likely with someone’s hands. This also means there could potentially be latent DNA that could help lead investigators to a suspect.

“In the matter of death of Gabrielle Venora Petito, we find the cause and manner to be, cause death by strangulation and manner is homicide,” Blue stated. “By Wyoming state statue, only the cause and manner of death can be released. The autopsy findings and photographs and that sort of material is not released by state statute.”

The coroner said officials came to that consensus after a full body cat-scan and evaluations by pathologists, anthropologists and toxicologists. Additionally, he estimated the strangulation took place three-to-four weeks before her body was found.

The Laundrie family is facing immense scrutiny by the public after claims surfaced that they may know more about their missing son’s whereabouts. Their family attorney confirmed the suspect and his parents went camping together nearly a week after he returned home without Petito. A public records request revealed Laundrie’s mother checked in at Fort de Soto Park in early September, which lies about 75 miles from the family’s home in North Port, Florida.

While the search for Laundrie continues, Petito’s family created the Gabby Petito Foundation in her memory. Donations can me made through the web page.

“We’re just hoping that through our tragedy with losing Gabby that, in the future, that some good can come out of it, that we can help other people that may be in a similar situation, reach out to these other organizations that do similar things and find out what’s missing,” expressed Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt. “What can we do to fill that void? What can we do to help people?”

Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, said they wanted his daughter’s name to remembered for something positive and not just for this tragedy. He noted, “we can’t let her name be taken in vain.”

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