Sarasota County, FL – Partial human remains have found at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near a backpack containing items that may have belonged to Brian Laundrie.
Just hours after police concluded a monthlong search for Laundrie in the park and reopened the area to the public, 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 and came upon several “articles” that may belong to Brian Laundrie after a “brief” search, WFLA reported.
A mobile command unit has responded to the scene, as well as the medical examiner and a K9 capable of detecting human remains.
Aerial footage showed a large white tent that has been erected over the apparent search area.
Law enforcement personnel were also seen carrying multiple tables into the park, WFLA reported.
Partial human remains have been found in the search area, but police have not released any further information, WFLA reported.
“Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve this morning in connection with the search for Brian Laundrie,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “An #FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene. The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time.”
UPDATE: Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve this morning in connection with the search for Brian Laundrie. An #FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene. The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time. @FBIDenver pic.twitter.com/itOYRpY6fp
— FBI Tampa (@FBITampa) October 20, 2021
Her death has been ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
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.