The human remains found in a Florida wildlife reserve on Wednesday have been confirmed to be those of missing man Brian Laundrie, the FBI confirmed on Thursday. The fiance of murdered vlogger Gabby Petito had been missing since September 14 and despite extensive searches of the T Mabry Carlton Jr Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creed Environmental Park using authorities and trained dogs, it was his parents who discovered his belongings, which eventually led to his body.
- The Laundrie family lawyer released a statement following the positive ID of Laundrie’s body. “Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,” the attorney said. “We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundries’ privacy at this time.”
- Laundrie’s remains were found in a part of the park that had been underwater until recently. This may have been why it was previously more difficult to find him. However, other items including Laundrie’s backpack and notebook were also discovered by his parents. The water under which Laundrie’s body was located was said to be “treacherous” and chest-deep until recently, and was filled with rattlesnakes and alligators. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said that a skull and bones were found during the search.
- A forensic pathologist remarked that the whole thing seemed a bit “odd” to her. Speaking to CNN, Dr. Priya Banerjee said: “Usually, even when I respond to a crime scene, the family is not allowed – no external people are allowed other than the immediate investigators, so that was odd to me.” Many people agree. How is it that trained investigators and dogs couldn’t locate Laundrie or any sign of him for over a month, but his parents manage to go out on the scene and find his belongings within a few hours?
- There’s still more work to be done. Banerjee continued: “In this case, I do believe that the two major issues are identification, which has been completed, and now my colleagues have quite a challenge in determining the cause of death. I don’t know how much has been recovered of his body, so that will be challenging. I know they were out there today. And maybe the diary or other evidence can shed some light as to what happened.” This will be incredibly difficult given there are no cameras and the body was likely very decomposed or in pieces.
- Sadly, this means we won’t get any closure on Gabby Petito’s murder. The only person who likely knew anything at all was Laundrie, but instead of answering authorities’ questions and attempting to provide answers for her poor family, her ran away. His secrets will now die with him.