‘Potential Remains,’ Items Believed to Belong to Brian Laundrie Found in Florida Wilderness Park

(STThis is. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park during the search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito during the couple’s cross-country road trip, according to law enforcement sources and a Laundrie family attorney.

Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, took part in the search Wednesday with the FBI and police from North Port, Florida, more than a month after Laundrie was reported missing after heading to the vast Carlton Reserve park.

“After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented, some articles belonging to Brian were found,” attorney Steven Bertolino said in a text to the Associated Press. “As of now law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.”
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The FBI field office in Tampa also issued a statement on Twitter earlier Wednesday confirming that “items of interest” were found in the Laundrie search but did not describe them further. “An FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene. The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time,” the statement said.

According to an official from law enforcement, the potential remains of human beings were discovered near Laundrie items. An official from the FBI could not speak publicly about the issue and spoke only to the AP in confidence. An afternoon news conference has been scheduled by the FBI in Florida to discuss these discoveries.

The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed it had been summoned to the reserve but would not comment further.

Petito was last seen Sept. 11, while she was traveling cross-country with her family. Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. There was a coroner who concluded that she died from strangulation. The body had been found there for about three to four weeks.

This case generated a lot of public attention, but it also brought up uncomfortable questions about the inequity of the media’s focus on the many cases where Native American women were missing or killed across the United States. Petito is white.

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Police in Moab stopped the couple on August 12 after they had a physical altercation. However, no charges were brought against them.

Laundrie, who was travelling alone with his wife on the trip to the Ford van they took home Sept. 1, returned home. On Sept. 14, he told his parents he was planning to hike the Carlton Reserve. The Carlton Reserve is a Sarasota County nature preserve that has played a critical role in the hunt for Laundrie.

Wednesday’s activity was concentrated on Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. Television news reports reported that several law enforcement vehicles arrived and set up a tent in the forest. This is the location where Laundrie’s Ford Mustang was discovered in the wild.

Laundrie was indicted in federal Wyoming for unauthorized debit card use. If he’s found, authorities could arrest him.

It alleges Laundrie used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000. The card does not identify the owner of the card or the type of charges.


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