NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Brian Laundrie‘s remains have been found, according to authorities.
Suspected human remains were found Wednesday in a Florida nature reserve.
The FBI says confirmation was made through dental records.
#UPDATE: 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 Creek Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie. @FBITampa pic.twitter.com/ZnzbXiibTM
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) October 21, 2021
“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 Laundrie’s privacy at this time,” said Laudrie family attorney Steve Bertolino.
“Gabby’s family is not doing interviews or making a statement at this time. They are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter. Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready,” said Rick Stafford, attorney for the Petito family.
The FBI confirmed Wednesday afternoon that suspected human remains were found, along with a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie, Gabby Petito‘s fiancé, in Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
According to a CBS News report, the remains were said to be “a small part of a body,” which would make it difficult to determine a cause of death.
“These items were found in an area that up until recently had been underwater. Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area,” Michael McPherson, the FBI’s special agent in charge, said Wednesday.
Laundrie’s parents reportedly reached out to the FBI and North Port Police themselves, saying they wanted to search a specific area of the reserve.
As CBS2’s Cory James reports, some experts are raising questions about the timing and the family’s involvement.
“For weeks and week and weeks, they have been looking, and when the Laundries decide to, they come out, and they just, surprisingly, find it. So I think that speaks for itself,” retired FBI supervisory special agent Steve Moore said.
But the Laundrie family’s attorney says the connection is nonsense.
“It is my understanding that they were followed closely by the two law enforcement personnel, and, when I say closely, certainly within eye shot,” Bertolino said.
Nearby Blue Point neighbors reacted to the news Thursday.
Andy Garabedian, of Holbrook, says it’s Petito that is still top of his mind.
“It’s horrible. The girl was 22 years old. She’s a kid. She had so much life ahead of her, and it was gone, cut short,” he said. “Hopefully the family can find peace in all of this because at the end of the day, they are the ones dealing with the torment, not him.”
Brian Laundrie is currently the sole person of interest in the death investigation of Petito, a 22-year-old native of the Suffolk County hamlet of Blue Point.
Petito was found dead in a forest in Wyoming back on Sept. 19, and a coroner later ruled her death a homicide by strangulation.
Petito went missing in late August after going on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. He mysteriously returned to the home they shared in Florida in the van they were traveling in, but without Petito. Police have wanted to question Laundrie about Petito’s disappearance, but he declined — and then apparently disappeared, himself.
Editor’s note: This story was first published Oct. 21.