The FBI’s Denver office has confirmed that the remains found Wednesday are those of 23-year-old Brian Laundrie. They used dental records to confirm his identity, according to an FBI news release.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,” Steve Bertolino, the family lawyer, said. “We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy at this time.”
The Gabby Petito homicide investigation took another turn on Wednesday when FBI and state police returned to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park less than two days after it was reopened to the public.
Amid growing suspicion of Brian Laundrie’s parent involvement in the search, it was Chris Laundrie, Brian’s father, who found items belonging to his son despite FBI and local police searching the same area previously.
After the Laundries alerted police about the discovery, law enforcement found human remains and a backpack that contained personal items, including a notebook belonging to Brian.
As previously reported, a forensic team was sent to the area to investigate the discovery. The group included cadaver dogs and a medical examiner.
During the FBI press conference, a representative of the FBI Denver office said the discovery investigation might take several days.
Possibly planted evidence points to Brian
Neama Rahmani, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, told The Sun while it is likely the human remains belong to Brian, it is possible he faked his death and staged the scene with his personal items.
“It’s certainly likely that those human remains they found belong to Brian Laundrie unless he was trying to plant evidence next to someone else’s remains to throw law enforcement off his tracks.”
Rahmani also floated the possibility that the missing 23-year-old was killed by an animal or committed suicide.
“He was either killed by an animal or a person, or he killed himself. If he killed himself, it’s much more likely that he wrote something in the notebook about Gabby,” Rahmani said to the publication.
It is unclear what condition Brian’s notebook is in, considering it may have been underwater for an undisclosed amount of time.
“In nice terms, it’s hogwash,” Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino said to CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo when asked about the possibility the evidence was planted.
FBI reveal why human remains were not discovered earlier
During the press conference Michael McPherson, a special agent in charge of the FBI Tampa Division, said the investigation of the discovery may take several days.
In addition, it is the first time the FBI has said explicitly that Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petitio.
He has only been charged with bank fraud charges since the discovery of Petito’s body last month.
The FBI representative also offered a possible explanation why the unidentified human remains and Laundrie’s items were not discovered earlier.
“These items were found in an area, up until recently was underwater.”
The investigation into the remains and Gabby Petito’s murder is currently ongoing.