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UPDATE | Human remains found in Florida near Brian Laundrie’s backpack, FBI says

Laundrie was named a person of interest in the case after Gabby Petito’s remains were found.
Brian Laundrie
Human remains have been found near belongings of Brian Laundrie in a Florida nature reserve, FBI agents said Wednesday. (Screengrab from Moab City Police Department via Storyful)

Human remains have been found near belongings of Brian Laundrie in a Florida nature reserve, FBI agents said in a Wednesday news briefing. 

The remains were found in an area previously underwater at the Carlton Reserve, where agencies had been searching for Laundrie since he vanished in late September following the death of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, in Wyoming. 

The remains were found near a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundire, FBI agent Michael McPherson said. It will take several days to process the evidence, he said.

“An FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene,” the agency said. “The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time.” 

A medical examiner was also called to the Florida park, news outlets reported.

Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was called to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida, after items that belonged to Laundrie were found, WFLA reported. A cadaver dog was also on scene, according to CNN. 

Laundrie was the boyfriend of Petito, a 22-year-old whose remains were found near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. 

He was named a person of interest in the case after Petito’s remains were found in a remote area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, authorities said. 

“Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest,” officials said. “Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.” 

Petito’s death was ruled a homicide earlier this month, and the Teton County Coroner said she died of strangulation.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on Sept. 22 after he was charged with using unauthorized bank accounts after Petito’s death, according to an indictment posted by the FBI. 

“Namely a Capitol One Bank debit card … and a personal identification number for Capitol One Bank accounts,” the indictment said. “By such conduct obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more during that period.” 

Authorities searched for Laundrie primarily in the Carlton Reserve in Florida, a 25,000-acre swamp, for weeks. His family told police he went hiking nearby Sept. 14 and never returned. 

Petito lived with Laundrie and his family in Florida before she left with him on a cross-country road trip. 

She was reported missing Sept. 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned to Florida alone, North Port police said.

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