FBI: Human remains found during search for Brian Laundrie

Oct 20, 2021, 2:37 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm
Moab police...
Police camera 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, Gabby Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. The couple was pulled over while they were having an emotional fight. Petito was reported missing by her family a month later and is now the subject of a nationwide search. (The Moab Police Department via AP)
(The Moab Police Department via AP)

NORTH PORT, Florida — The FBI held a briefing on Wednesday afternoon announcing that human remains were found during the search for Brian Laundrie. Laundrie is the only person of interest in the case of murdered van lifer and social-media vlogger 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

KSL received word from the Laundrie family attorney that his parents, alongside the FBI, searched a trail that Laundrie frequented and found some things that belong to him.

Shortly after that discovery the Sarasota County Medical Examiner and a cadaver dog were dispatched to the site.

Michael McPherson, the FBI special agent in charge of the Bureau’s Tampa division said that human remains were found along with a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie.

“These items were found in an area that up until recently had been underwater. Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area,”  McPherson said.

He added that the teams would likely be on the scene for several days. 

Officials took no questions after the announcement, and after the media briefing, a group that had gathered was heard chanting “justice for Gabby.”

The Petito/Laundrie case so far

These developments come over a month after Laundrie returned to Florida alone after setting off on a cross-country road trip with his fiance Gabby Petito.

Ten days after, Laundrie returned home, Petito’s parents reported her missing. 

Before Petito’s disappearance, the couple was stopped by Moab near Arches National Park after a 911 caller had alerted police to a potential domestic violence situation. 

On a 911 recording obtained by KSL, an unidentified caller reported seeing a man, later identified as Laundrie, slap a woman, presumably Petito, in a white van. However, Moab police determined the incident was not a case of domestic violence, recommending the couple spend the night apart.

Gabby Petito stayed in the van; police helped Laundrie find a hotel room for the night. 

The two were later spotted by a number of people having an argument in a Wyoming restaurant who reported that Petito was “hysterically crying” and that Laundrie was seen “violently talking to the hostess.”

Later on September 19th Petito’s remains were found in a national forest outside Yellowstone National Park. The Wyoming location where searchers found the remains later identified as those of Gabby Petito were in an area where she had planned to camp, according to her profile on the camping app The Dyrt, as reported by COLD podcast host Dave Cawley

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruled her death a homicide and said that she died by strangulation.

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