The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Thursday that human remains were found along a trail in a Florida forest near Brian Laundry’s personal belongings.
Laundry was a man interested in the murder of his fiancée, 22-year-old Gabby Pettito, whose remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest in mid-September. A medical examiner confirmed that Petito died of strangulation. Authorities say the 23-year-old had not been seen since September 13, according to her parents.
Human remains found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve on Wednesday were confirmed to belong to him, the federal police agency said in a statement on Thursday.
“On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that human remains found at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve and Mykahatchy Creek Environmental Park belong to Brian Laundry,” the statement said.
Michael McPherson, the special agent in charge at the FBI’s Tampa field office, told reporters Wednesday that personal items included a notebook and backpack owned by Laundry.
“These items were found in an area that has been under water until recently,” he said. “Our evidence response team is at the scene using all available forensic resources to process the area.”
CNN reported that Remains found on the trail “Looks like it’s been a while there.”
North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said they were found “about two to three miles inside Carlton Reserve, or about a 45-minute walk.”
Laundry’s parents, Chris and Roberta, participated in the search Wednesday and a Sarasota County medical examiner at Carlton Reserve has been called to the trail.
The family’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, debunked conspiracy theories online that Chris Laundry had put the backpack on to help his son, calling it “hogwash.”
Bertolino said the family was “heartbroken” by the discovery of the human remains.
New evidence has emerged more than a month after Laundry’s family told police they had not seen him in three days and had gone hiking in Carlton Reserve Park. The police had conducted extensive searches of the area over the past several weeks, but no trace of the laundry was found.
The Petito affair has grabbed the world’s attention, in part thanks to the couple’s presence on social media.
The couple had posted photos of their trip across the United States on their social media accounts, but chilling bodycam footage and a 911 call released to the public indicated the possibility of a darker side to Petito and Laundry’s relationship.
The pair were stopped outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah, on August 12, when a 911 caller told police they saw the laundry slapping and hitting Petito.
Body camera footage showed Petito crying as he described an argument that turned into slapping laundry while driving. Police asked the couple to separate for the night, but neither Petito or Laundry were taken into custody and no charges were filed.
A warrant was issued for Laundry’s arrest on September 23, after officers charged him with bank fraud alleging that he had used Petito’s debit card to withdraw more than $1,000. This would allow the authorities to arrest him if he is found alive.
Laundry returned home on September 1 without Pettito in the Ford van the couple had taken on their trip. Petito’s parents held a funeral for their daughter on September 26 in Holbrook, NY. Across the street from the funeral home, a chain link fence was decorated with posters bearing Petito’s image and messages such as “He touched the world”.
Last Friday, Petito’s father Joseph posted an image from inside Bridger-Teton, showing that they had scattered his ashes in the national park.
– With files from Granthshala News’ Emerald Bensadoun and the Associated Press