Human remains have been found in a Florida park on Wednesday (20 October) have been confirmed to belong to the missing fiance of murdered US blogger Gabby Petito.
The FBI said that the body of Brian Laundrie was identified using dental records.
Mr Laundrie, 23, was a person of interest in his partner’s death and was missing for more than a month after returning to Florida from a joint trip without her.
Ms Petito, 22, disappeared in September and her body was found in western Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on 19 September following a cross-country trip with Laundrie.
The coroner ruled her death as a homicide in preliminary findings.
Mr Laundrie was last seen on 14 September and was being sought by authorities looking to question him over the muder of his girlfriend.
What have police said?
The FBI said the human remains were uncovered in the Carlton Reserve, Florida, in a location that was previously underwater.
Mr Laundrie’s personal belongings, including a backpack and a notebook, were also discovered nearby on Wednesday where authorities were searching.
A lawyer representing Mr Laundrie’s parents released a statement, saying: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s.
“We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundries’ privacy at this time.”
According to NBC News, bones and a skull were also discovered during the search.
In a short news conference held on Thursday (21 October), Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno praised officials for working under “treacherous conditions” in the park, and described the chest-deep water as being filled with rattlesnakes and alligators.
What happened to Gabby Petito?
Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito were travelling in a van on a cross country trek to visit the national parks of the US West.
However, after leaving in July Mr Laundrie suddenly drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port Florida alone.
Mr Petito was reported missing after 10 days and her last known contact with her family was on 25 August, when she was in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
The couple had been documenting the trip online, but Ms Petito’s regular social media updates abruptly ceased in late August.
It has been confirmed that Mr Laundrie and his parents spent two days camping at the Fort De Soto Park on 6 September.
The significance of this camping trip has been called into question, as it was around the same time that Ms Petito’s mother was trying to contact Mr Laundrie and his mother to understand why communication with her daughter had suddenly stopped.
After Ms Petito was reported missing, Mr Laundrie’s lawyer released a statement which said that his client would not be speaking to authorities “on the advice of counsel”.
Before Mr Laundrie’s disappearance, he avoided the authorities and did not divulge any information about what happened on the trip.
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