The FBI has confirmed that human remains found in a Florida nature reserve belong to missing fugitive Brian Laundry.
Investigators confirmed the identity of Mr Laundry’s skeletal remains on the day they were discovered near his bags and clothing items at the Carlton Reserve.
Law enforcement officials say the identification was made using dental records and the announcement comes 38 days after Gabby Petito’s fiancé was last seen by her parents.
The FBI’s Denver office tweeted, “On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that human remains found at T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve and Mykahatchy Creek Environmental Park belong to Brian Laundry.”
Petito’s family acknowledged the development shortly after the announcement.
“Gabby’s family is not interviewing or making any statements at this time,” said Petito-Schmidt family attorney Rick Stafford.
“They are mourning the loss of their beautiful daughter. Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when emotionally ready.
Laundry family attorney Steve Bertolino said the family was informed of the identity of their son’s body.
“Chris and Roberta Laundry have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,” Mr. Bertolino said in a statement.
“We have no further comment at this time and we ask you to respect the privacy of the Laundry family at this time.”
The remains were discovered on the same day that Laundry’s parents visited the park for the first time since the park was reopened.
Mr Bertolino told CNN that the area where the remains were found at his meeting with police on September 17 was “the area of the park that we initially notified law enforcement of”.
Earlier in the day, North Port Police said the human remains found at the Carlton Reserve were “definitely human”.
“They are human remains, no doubt about it. I would say the remains corresponded to a person, you know skeletal remains,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told CNN.
Investigators also found that the clothes belonged to Brian Laundry.
“That (clothes) was also there. It is believed to suit what he was wearing,” Mr Taylor said.
Petito, 22, and Laundry, 23, spent the summer traveling the western US in their white vans, regularly posting photos and videos of their “van life” adventure on social media.
On August 12, police confronted the couple in Moab, Utah, after a passerby reported a physical dispute between them.
A report by Officer Eric Pratt said that despite the fight, “both the man and woman reported that they were in love and engaged to be married and did not want to see anyone charged with a crime.”
Officials suggested the couple split for the night and described Petito as “confused and emotional”.
The police department’s handling of the incident was widely criticized and city officials began a review.
But Petito’s posting abruptly stopped in August, and Laundry returned to her family’s home in Florida without her on September 1.
When Petito’s family was unable to contact him, they reported his disappearance 10 days later, because the laundry had refused to cooperate with investigators.
He then went missing on his own, telling his family that they believed he had gone to the nature reserve, where his remains were eventually found.
Pettito’s remains were discovered on September 19 in a remote Wyoming National Forest, where they were last seen together.
Several days after that, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruled her death a homicide and announced that she had died by hand strangulation.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Brian Laundrie