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FBI Confirms Bones Found In Park Belong To Brian Laundrie

By Holly Matkin and Christopher Berg

Sarasota County, FL – Skeletal remains found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday have been identified as the remains of Brian Laundrie.

The FBI used dental records to confirm the identity of Laundrie’s remains, according to an FBI press release.

The FBI Tampa office faced reporters on Wednesday just hours after investigators located the partial human remains in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near a backpack containing items that may have belonged to Brian Laundrie, WFLA reported.

FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Michael McPherson said investigators would be on the scene at the park for multiple days and told reporters that portions of it would remain closed to the public.

He said the FBI Denver officer would continue to act as the lead agency in the investigation and referred addition questions to them.

Law enforcement officers wrapped up a monthlong search for Brian Laundrie in the park one day earlier and reopened the area to the public, according to the news outlet.

Later that night, Brian Laundrie’s parents informed police they wanted to go back to the area themselves to look for him once again, WFLA reported.

Investigators accompanied the Laundries to the park on Wednesday and came upon several “articles” that may belong to Brian Laundrie after a “brief” search, WFLA reported.

The skeletal remains were discovered near a backpack containing items belonged to Brian Laundrie, according to the news outlet.

Brian Laundrie, 23, disappeared in mid-September just days before the body of his missing 22-year-old fiancé, Gabby Petito, was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.

Her death has been ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

Police named Brian Laundrie as a person of interest in Petito’s homicide, but investigators have stopped short of labeling him as a suspect.

The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest on Sept. 22 for use of unauthorized devices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver office announced in a press release.

But by then, Brian Laundrie had disappeared.

During an interview on the Dr. Phil McGraw television show earlier this month, Petito’s parents and step-parents said the warrant was the result of Brian Laundrie stealing Petito’s bank card and using it “to get home and then [run] from the police,” WAGA reported.

The couple set off in Petito’s converted camper van in early July to tour U.S. national parks.

Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said she last spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25.

Brian Laundrie returned to his family’s North Port, Florida home in Petito’s van on Sept. 1, but she was not with him.

He refused to speak with police or Petito’s family about where he last saw her before he supposedly vanished while hiking in a Florida nature reserve on Sept. 14.

Brian Laundrie’s parents claim they haven’t spoken to him since then.

Petito’s body was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19.

The 160-acre, heavily-wooded Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park area is adjacent to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where Brian Laundrie’s parents, Roberta and Christopher Laundrie, claimed their son disappeared while hiking, FOX News reported.

The couple initially told police Brian Laundrie disappeared on Sept. 14, although they failed to report him as missing until Sept. 17.

They later changed their story after the North Port Police Department (NPPD) confirmed an officer had placed an abandoned vehicle notice on Brian Laundrie’s car at the Carlton Reserve on Sept. 14, CNN reported.

The couple now claims their son actually left their house on Sept. 13 – one day earlier than the date they gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), WAGA reported.

“The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” their attorney, Steven Bertolino, said in a statement. “Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13.”

Bertolino further claimed Christopher Laundrie went out searching for his son the night of Sept. 13 after he failed to return home, according to CNN.

The couple said they also picked up Brian Laundrie’s car from the nature reserve a day earlier than they previously reported, WAGA reported.

Written by
Christopher Berg

Editor-in-Chief: Twitter/@SnarkyCop. Christopher left his job as a police officer to manage The Police Tribune to provide context to the public about police incidents. Before becoming a police officer, he worked as a law enforcement dispatcher trainer.

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Written by Christopher Berg

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