Human Remains Found in Search for Brian Laundrie in Florida, F.B.I. Says

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After searching successful the Carlton Reserve, the authorities said they had recovered quality remains adjacent items belonging to Mr. Laundrie, a “person of interest” successful the execution of his fiancée, Gabrielle Petito.

Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito near  New York successful  July for what was intended to beryllium  a four-month, cross-country trip.
Credit...Florida Police/Via Reuters

Oct. 20, 2021Updated 5:32 p.m. ET

Human remains were recovered successful a Florida wildlife reserve connected Wednesday, adjacent a notebook and different items belonging to a antheral who has been declared a “person of interest” successful the execution of his fiancée, the F.B.I. said.

The find came 7 weeks aft the man, Brian Laundrie, returned location from a monthslong van travel without the fiancée, Gabrielle Petito, and astir 4 weeks aft she was recovered dormant successful a nationalist wood successful Wyoming.

Michael F. McPherson, the peculiar cause successful complaint of the F.B.I.’s Tampa tract office, said that the authorities had recovered a notebook and a backpack that belonged to Mr. Laundrie, adjacent what appeared to beryllium quality remains successful the Carlton Reserve, a 24,565-acre wildlife refuge successful Sarasota County, Fla. The items were recovered successful an country that until precocious had been underwater, Mr. McPherson said.

He said that an grounds effect squad was utilizing “all disposable forensic resources” to process the scene, which could instrumentality respective days. The reserve has been closed to the public, helium said.

“I cognize you person a batch of questions, but we don’t person each the answers yet,” Mr. McPherson said astatine a quality league astatine which helium did not instrumentality questions. “We are moving diligently to get those answers for you.”

The find of the remains could extremity the hunt for Mr. Laundrie aft Ms. Petito’s assemblage was recovered successful September successful the Bridger-Teton National Forest, by Grand Teton National Park successful Wyoming.

A coroner determined that the mode of Ms. Petito’s decease was homicide, and that the origin was strangulation. The coroner, Dr. Brent Blue of Teton County, Wyo., said her assemblage had been extracurricular for 3 to 4 weeks before it was recovered connected Sept. 19.

Mr. Laundrie’s items and the remains were recovered connected Wednesday aft his parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, had informed the F.B.I. and the constabulary connected Tuesday evening that they intended to travel to the parkland connected Wednesday greeting to hunt for their son, the family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, said successful a statement. Mr. Bertolino said that instrumentality enforcement officials had met the parents astatine the parkland connected Wednesday morning.

After a little hunt disconnected a way that Mr. Laundrie frequented, the household and instrumentality enforcement officials recovered “some articles” belonging to him, Mr. Bertolino said. The find prompted a “more thorough probe of that area” by instrumentality enforcement agencies.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed connected Wednesday that it had brought a canine specially trained to find quality remains to the park, astatine the petition of the section police.

The authorities and Ms. Petito’s household members were inactive grasping for answers astir what happened during and aft the couple’s cross-country roadworthy trip, which Ms. Petito, 22, and Mr. Laundrie, 23, chronicled astatine magnitude connected societal media.

Ms. Petito near with Mr. Laundrie from New York successful July successful a achromatic Ford van outfitted with a furniture and different necessities for visiting nationalist parks and nomadic travels that they called “Van Life.”

On Sept. 1, Mr. Laundrie returned to the location successful North Port, Fla., wherever helium and Ms. Petito had been living. He drove there, alone, successful the van, which had been registered to Ms. Petito.

Ten days later, Ms. Petito’s household reported her missing. The hunt for her soon progressive the F.B.I. and National Park rangers and stretched crossed astatine slightest 2 states. Through a lawyer, Mr. Laundrie had declined to talk to investigators, according to the police, who described him arsenic a “person of interest” and not arsenic a suspect.

Then, six days aft Ms. Petito was reported missing, Mr. Laundrie’s parents told the constabulary that they had not seen him for respective days, starting a 2nd hunt for a missing person. The authorities began to scour the Carlton Reserve, and the F.B.I. served a hunt warrant astatine the Laundrie residence.

A federal apprehension warrant was aboriginal unsealed for Mr. Laundrie successful Wyoming, charging him with debit paper fraud aft the authorities said helium had unlawfully utilized a Capital One slope debit paper successful precocious August. The authorities did not accidental whether the debit paper belonged to Ms. Petito.

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Credit...Moab Police Department, via Associated Press

On Aug. 12, the constabulary successful Moab, Utah, responded to a study of a “domestic problem” betwixt the couple, according to a constabulary report. It said that Mr. Laundrie and Ms. Petito had “some benignant of argument.”

The study said that helium told her to instrumentality a locomotion and calm down, and that Mr. Laundrie and Ms. Petito some told the officers that they were successful love, engaged to beryllium joined and “desperately didn’t privation to spot anyone charged with a crime,” the study said.

Mr. Laundrie told 1 serviceman that “issues betwixt the 2 had been gathering implicit the past fewer days,” it said.

Body camera footage shows that, during the encounter, Ms. Petito cried and said she suffered from anxiety. In the constabulary report, Ms. Petito is recorded arsenic saying she moved to slap Mr. Laundrie due to the fact that she feared that helium “was going to permission her successful Moab without a ride.”

Both told the constabulary that the occurrence should beryllium classified arsenic a “mental/emotional wellness ‘break’” and not arsenic home assault, the study said.

The constabulary described Mr. Laundrie successful the study arsenic the unfortunate of the incident. They arranged for him to enactment successful a edifice that nighttime portion Ms. Petito kept the van. No charges were filed, the study said.

Alan Yuhas contributed reporting.

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