SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida, Oct. 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Human remains have been found near where personal belongings of Brian Laundrie turned up in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, officials said Wednesday.
A senior law enforcement official said that what appears to be partial human remains have been found in a location that was previously under water, NBC is reporting. There is no confirmation the remains belong to Laundrie.
The remains were found near a backpack, according to this source, which may be consistent with the type of items Laundrie may have had in his possession.
Earlier Wednesday, the Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said investigators searching for Laundrie found “some articles” belonging to him off a trail that he frequented at the environmental park near his family’s home in Florida.
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
Bertolino said Chris and Roberta Laundrie went to the park Wednesday morning to search for Laundrie.
The FBI and the North Port Police Department were informed last night of the Laundries’ intentions to visit the park, and law enforcement met them there Wednesday morning, he said.
After a “brief search” off a trail Laundrie frequented, the family and law enforcement found “some articles” belonging to him, Bertolino said. He would not give any further information on what or how many items were found.
Bertolino said that law enforcement is now conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.
North Port police are not yet commenting on the development, but the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed on social media that members of its team have been called to the scene.
The entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is about five miles north of the Laundrie family home.
It was announced Tuesday that the park had reopened after being closed for nearly a month due to the search. The Carlton Reserve, also in Sarasota County, Florida, which has been the other hub in the search for Laundrie, remains closed.
On Friday, Sept. 17, Laundrie’s parents told the FBI that their son went to the Carlton Reserve that Tuesday, Sept. 14, but never returned home. They later said that, in fact, they last saw their son Sept. 13.
Since then, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been searching the 24,565-acre nature reserve for the 23-year-old man.
Laundrie is the only person of interest in the murder case of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The couple, who shared a home with Laundrie’s parents in Florida, had been traveling across the western U.S., including stops in Utah, before Petito’s disappearance near the end of August.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, it was determined that Petito died of strangulation, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced.
“We find the cause of death by strangulation, and the manner is homicide,” Blue said at a news conference.
Blue said his estimate is that Petito, 22, died three to four weeks before her body was found. Three to four weeks before Petito’s body was discovered would have been in the approximate time period of Aug. 21 through 28.
Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van, but without her. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11.
Laundrie declined to cooperate with authorities, as did his parents.
On Sept. 19, FBI agents found the remains believed to be Petito’s in an area where the couple had been camping in Grand Teton National Park.
Officials confirmed on Sept. 21 the human remains found in Grand Teton National Park were those of the missing woman.
Though authorities have not explicitly connected Laundrie to Petito’s death, they’ve been looking for him, in part over a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using another person’s debit card. That card belonged to Petito, investigators say.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.