- Partial human remains were located in a park in Florida on Wednesday.
- The FBI announced at a press conference that several items belonging to Brian Laundrie were located at the scene.
- The Laundrie family lawyer said the remains are likely Brian’s.
The lawyer for the Laundrie family said the remains found Wednesday in a Florida nature reserve are likely Brian Laundrie’s.
Attorney Steven Bertolino told Chris Cuomo on CNN that "the probability is strong that it is Brian's remains."
“Earlier today, we found what appears to be human remains along with personal items, including a backpack and a notebook, which appeared to belong to Mr. Laundrie,” FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said at a press conference Wednesday.
The remains will need to be identified and a cause of death determined following an autopsy by the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office. McPherson stated that a forensic team would be processing the area for several days.
"It's quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son's belongings alongside from the remains,” Bertolino said. “That's got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken."
Laundrie’s parents reported him missing on Sept. 17, saying they had not seen their son since he went to hike in the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre wildlife refuge, on Tuesday, Sept. 14. They later said he actually left Sept. 13.
His fiance, Gabby Petito, had been reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her since Aug. 25 while she was on a cross-country roadtrip with Laundrie. Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, claims she also attempted to contact Laundrie, as well as his mother, when she could not reach Petito, but she received no response. Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port home alone with Petito’s van on Sept. 1.
Authorities had been searching the Carlton Reserve for Laundrie for several weeks and said that the remains were discovered in an area that had previously been flooded.
McPherson stated Wednesday that Laundrie was still a person of interest in the death of Petito, who was missing for several weeks before her body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She had been strangled to death.
"We don't have all the answers yet,” McPherson said, “we are working diligently to get those answers to you."
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