NORTH PORT — The FBI has confirmed that the human skeletal remains found in the Carlton Reserve are those of Brian Laundrie.
“A comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Reserve Memorial and the Myakkahatchee Creek are those of Brian Laundrie,” the FBI posted on Twitter at 5:40 p.m. Thursday.
A few minutes before the statement was posted on Twitter, reporters spotted two detectives enter the home of Brian Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, on Wabasso Avenue in North Port. The detectives stayed for a few minutes, then left.
The Laundries’ family attorney Steven Bertolino confirmed that the family had been told of the FBI’s findings. “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,” he said in a statement.
Authorities continued working in the Carlton Reserve, the neighboring Big Slough and the Myakkahatchee Park on Thursday, following the discovery of skeletal remains along a path three miles from the park entrance.
Personal items identified as belonging to Brian Laundrie were found Wednesday by North Port police searching the reserve with Brian Laundrie’s parents. Those items included a backpack and a notebook, the FBI later said.
The Laundries were then escorted from the area.
Human remains were found about 200 yards off a grass path.
That backpack was found among bushes along an isolated path, according to a spokesperson. Chris and Roberta Laundrie were in the reserve to assist in finding clues to their son’s whereabouts. North Port detectives had accompanied them early Wednesday.
The Laundries returned to their North Port house on Wabasso Avenue to await the results.
Brian Laundrie is the boyfriend and traveling companion of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petitio. She was found dead at a remote Wyoming campsite in late September.
Brian Laundrie is “a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito,” according to Michael McPherson, FBI Special Agent.
Laundrie had returned to North Port alone, reportedly crossed city limits on Sept. 1. He vanished about two weeks later in the Carlton Reserve. His family reported him as missing Sept. 17.
Authorities with nearly a dozen police agencies had scoured more than 25,000 in Carlton and the Myakkahatchee Park in the last five weeks. Summer rain had flooded large swaths of that area, limiting and complicating the search.
Standing water had receded, however, leaving more space to search, reportedly why those skeletal remains appeared suddenly, police said.
The park areas were closed until further notice.
“The FBI is grateful for the tremendous investigative support from our partners: North Port Police Department, the Sarasota Police Department, the Jackson (Wyoming) Police Department, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the Teton County (Wyoming) Sheriff’s office, Teton County Search and Rescue, the Florida Wildlife Commission, the National Parks Service and U.S. Forest Service,” the FBI said in its statement.
Anyone with information about the case should contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI or tips.fbi.gov.