The FBI confirmed Thursday that remains found in a heavily wooded Florida park are those of missing fugitive Brian Laundrie, who had been the subject of a massive manhunt following the death of his girlfriend Gabby Petito.
“On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creed Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie,” the agency said in a statement.
The remains were found about a 40-minute hike into the marshy park, where Laundrie went for a walk after leaving his parents’ home on Sept. 13.
The grisly discovery came after Laundrie’s parents were summoned to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where family attorney Steve Bertolino said “some articles” belonging to Brian Laundrie had been found.
But the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was called to the scene, as were cadaver dogs and a body recovery team from the Pasto County Sheriff’s Office.
The park is adjacent to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where authorities have also searched for Laundrie since Sept. 18.
“Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve this morning in connection with the search for Brian Laundrie,” the FBI field office in Tampa tweeted Wednesday.
“An #FBI Evidence Response team is processing the scene,” the agency said. “The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time.”
Laundrie, 23, was the sole person of interest in the disappearance and death of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Long Island native Gabby Petito.
Petito disappeared in late August during the young couple’s cross-country trip, with her body found at a remote Wyoming campground on Sept. 19 — with her death later ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
Laundrie, who had returned home alone on Sept. 1, had fled authorities by then.
The FBI agencies had followed up on dozens of tips that Laundrie had been spotted at far north as the Appalachian Trail near the North Carolina/Tenessee border.
Laundrie had not been charged in Petito’s death but is named on a federal fraud warrant for allegedly using his beau’s debit card during his drive home to Florida.