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Brian Laundrie search live updates: Apparent human remains found, not ID'd

ABC News logo ABC News 10/21/2021
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A massive search is continuing in Florida for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who went missing on a cross-country trip and who authorities confirmed as the body discovered strangled to death in Wyoming last month.

The search for the 23-year-old Laundrie is centered around North Port, Florida, where investigators said Laundrie returned to his home on Sept. 1 without Petito but driving her 2012 Ford Transit.

Laundrie has been named by police as a "person of interest" in Petito's disappearance. Laundrie has refused to speak to the police and has not been seen since Sept. 14, according to law enforcement officials.

The search for Laundrie is the latest twist in the case that has grabbed national attention as he and Petito had been traveling across the country since June, documenting the trip on social media. Petito's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her for two weeks.

 

Latest Developments

October 21, 2021

'Skeletal remains' recovered at Florida nature preserve

Apparent human "skeletal remains" were recovered Wednesday in a Florida wildlife preserve where the search for Brian Laundrie has centered, police told ABC News on Thursday.

“We have confirmed skeletal remains," said Josh Taylor, spokesman for the North Port, Florida, Police Department.

Asked of media reports describing portions of the remains recovered, Taylor said, "We have not said anything about a skull.”

 
October 21, 2021

ID of remains could take several days: Medical examiner

Dr. Russell Vega, the chief medical examiner for Florida’s 12th District, confirmed to ABC News that he is working on trying to identify the apparent human remains found Wednesday in a nature preserve along with Brian Laundrie's backpack and notebook.

Vega said it could take several days to identify the remains. He declined to confirm media reports that the remains discovered at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida, were bones.

Early in the search for Laundrie, FBI agents collected samples of Laundrie's DNA from his parents home in North Port, according to the Laundrie family attorney.

 
October 20, 2021

Laundrie family attorney reacts to discovery of apparent human remains

Steven Bertolino, the family attorney for the Laundrie family, spoke with New York ABC station WABC Wednesday evening after law enforcement found human remains and items belonging to the fugitive at a Florida park.

The attorney said the area where investigators found Brian's belongings was shown to police two weeks ago when Laundrie's father, Chris, aided in the search.

"I can't say for certain that Chris showed this particular area to police at that point in time, but I can say that this is an area that we initially notified the FBI that Brian liked hiking," Bertolino said.

The attorney said the family is waiting for a proper identification before making any comments.

"As you can imagine, the parents are very distraught. ... At this moment in time they're grieving," he said.

 
October 20, 2021

Police find apparent human remains, personal items belonging to Laundrie

Police have recovered apparent human remains that have not been identified in the search for Brian Laundrie, the FBI said Wednesday.

Authorities also found items belonging to Laundrie, like a backpack and notebook, officials said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said the area where the items were found had previously been underwater. McPherson said a team would be on site for several days processing the scene.

 
October 20, 2021

Remains found at park, not clear if human

 

A law enforcement source told ABC News remains were found at a Florida environmental park. The source said investigators are working to determine whether the remains are human and whether the remains and other discovered articles are linked to Laundrie.

  Law enforcement search the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida for Brian Laundrie, Oct. 20, 2021. © WFTS Law enforcement search the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida for Brian Laundrie, Oct. 20, 2021.  

-ABC News' Jack Date

 
October 20, 2021

FBI confirms 'items of interest' found

 

The FBI said "items of interest" in connection to the search for Laundrie were found at the Carlton Reserve Wednesday morning and an evidence response team is processing the scene.

 
 
October 20, 2021

Cadaver dog team called to scene

 

A human remains detection team was requested by North Port Police to go to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park to assist in the search for Laundrie, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office told ABC News

 

The team consists of one dog, a handler and two spotters.

  Law enforcement search the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida for Brian Laundrie, Oct. 20, 2021. © WFTS Law enforcement search the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida for Brian Laundrie, Oct. 20, 2021.  

-ABC News' Aaron Katersky

 
October 20, 2021

Articles belonging to Laundrie found in Florida nature park: Attorney

Articles belonging to Brian Laundrie were found Wednesday by his parents, said Stephen Bertolino, an attorney for Laundrie's family.

Bertolino said the articles were found while his parents searched off a trail that Laundrie frequented in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida, a nature park that's been the center of the search for Laundrie.

Law enforcement is now searching the area, Bertolino said.

The medical examiner’s office in Sarasota has been called to the preserve, a spokesperson for the office told ABC News.

 
October 11, 2021

Body found in North Carolina national park not connected to Brian Laundrie: FBI

The discovery over the weekend of a body in the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park in North Carolina is not connected to the search for wanted fugitive Brian Laundrie, according to the FBI.

While law enforcement agencies have investigated several tips of Laundrie being spotted in North Carolina along the Appalachian Trail, which cuts through the Blue Ridge Parkway, officials said none of the purported sightings have panned out.

On Saturday afternoon, a Blue Ridge Parkway visitor discovered a body of a man below the park's Yadkin Valley Overlook, according to a statement from the National Parks Service. The identity of the body and a cause of death are pending the results of an autopsy, officials said.

The FBI, which is leading a nationwide search for Laundrie, released a statement to ABC affiliate station WSOC-TV in Charlotte on Sunday saying that while the discovery is part of an ongoing investigation, "At this time, there is no evidence to connect or any reason to believe it is related to the search for fugitive Brian Laundrie."

 
October 7, 2021

Brian Laundrie's father joins police in search for son: Attorney

The father of wanted fugitive Brian Laundrie joined law enforcement officers in the search for his son on Thursday, the family's attorney told ABC News.

Chris Laundrie began assisting police Thursday morning in the ongoing search of the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, near his home in North Port, said attorney Steven Bertolino.

He said the father has been asked to point out any favorite trails or spots in the nature preserve that his son favored. Chris Laundrie and his wife, Roberta, verbally told investigators roughly three weeks ago where their son may have gone in the preserve, but now searchers believe the father's on-site assistance may be more beneficial, Bertolino said.

The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well. The parents, according to Bertolino, have been cooperating since the search began.

Click here to read the rest of the blog.
© WFTS

Video: Warrant issued for Brian Laundrie’s arrest in Wyoming (ABC News)

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