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Parents under new suspicion after FBI confirms human remains, Brian Laundrie’s backpack, notebook found

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(Video: CNN)

The “something” that Florida authorities found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday has been confirmed to be remains that most likely belong to Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of deceased 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

Around noon Wednesday, reports began to emerge about “some articles belonging to Brian” being found at the park as the authorities and Laundrie’s suddenly cooperative parents were scouring it in search of the missing 23-year-old.

A coroner from the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was then spotted arriving at the scene, leading to speculation that perhaps a body had been found.

During a press conference hours later around 4:30 pm, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson announced the finding of “remains” and named Laundrie “a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito.”

“As you’re aware, the FBI and the North Port Police Department and our state and local law enforcement partners have been searching the area of the Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito,” he said.

Carlton Reserve reportedly connects to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

“Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie,” McPherson continued.

“These items were found in an area that up until recently have been underwater. Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area. It’s likely the team will be on scene for several days,” he added.

Watch the presser below:


(Video: WTVT-TV)

In an interview later that evening with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino admitted that “the probability is strong that it is Brian’s remains.”

“It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belonging alongside from the remains. That’s got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken,” he said.

Bertolino also revealed how Laundrie’s father — Chris Laundrie — had coincidentally been the one to find some of the items.

“As they went further in, Chris ventured off the trail into the woods. He was zigzagging in different areas. … At some point, Chris locates what’s called a dry bag. … Chris didn’t want to pick the bag up, because he wanted the law enforcement to see it. This was caught on camera. Chris couldn’t find the law enforcement, because they were then out of sight, because Chris had been in the woods,” he said.

“So, he didn’t want to leave the bag there, with a news reporter standing nearby. So, he picked it up. He did meet up shortly with law enforcement. They looked at the contents of the bag. At that time, law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone, of a backpack that law enforcement had located, also nearby, and also some distance off the trail. At that point, the Laundries were notified that there’s also remains near the backpack. And they were asked to leave the preserve,” the attorney added.

And so Laundrie’s father apparently found his son’s belongings. Bertolino claimed this was just an odd example of “happenstance.”

At some point during the interview, Cuomo asked about another odd example of “happenstance.”

“Let’s deal with the timing here. Why today? Why did the parents choose today to go to the preserve?” he pressed Bertolino, confused at why the thus-far uncooperative parents had suddenly decided to finally help.

“The parents had assumed that the experts, the FBI and all the tracking teams they had would be able to locate Brian based upon the information that we had provided them to the specific areas and trails in the park that Brian liked to visit,” the family attorney replied.

“The park had been closed to the public. There was really no other reason for the Laundries to go search anywhere else,” he added.

Uh huh …

These examples of “happenstance” have some in the public even more convinced now than before that Laundrie’s parents had known where he was all along:

There’s also a theory that Chris had “planted” the items. Cuomo pressed Bertolino on this theory.

“What do you make of this suggestion that Mr. Laundrie planted the bag and the backpack?” he asked.

“In nice terms, it’s hogwash,” the attorney responded.

Vivek Saxena

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