World Brian Laundrie found: Parents may have just missed discovering son themselves
Gabby Petito autopsy paints grim picture of last moments, experts say
The Gabby Petito autopsy finding that she died of homicide by strangulation indicates a likelihood of domestic violence and deadly intent, experts tell Fox News.Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who shared the campsite with her before driving back to Florida alone and ultimately disappearing himself, has been named a person of interest in her death and is wanted on a federal bank card fraud warrant.
EXCLUSIVE:parents unknowingly walked just a few yards away from locations in a nature preserve where police found their son’s personal belongings and remains Wednesday morning.
When Chris and Roberta Laundrie left their home before sunrise Wednesday, only two journalists were present – a Fox News Digital reporter who followed in a separate vehicle and a Fox News Channel cameraman who remained on their street.
They arrived at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park entrance at around 7:25 a.m., and two members of law enforcement arrived wearing hiking attire in a separate pickup truck. One later identified himself as a member of the North Port Police Department, and the other works for the FBI, according to Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino.
Brian Laundrie manhunt: Gov. Ron DeSantis wants fugitive 'brought to justice' if found guilty
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said it is “a little disappointing” that fugitive Brian Laundrie's whereabouts remain unknown.DeSantis' comments came after a press conference in North Port, Florida — where Brian Laundrie lived with his parents and deceased fiancée, Gabby Petito — during which the governor announced a $1.69 million grant for the city to help with job creation.
The men said nothing at the park entrance and followed the Laundries from a distance of no less than 50 feet.
There were no other people present at that time – although later that the morning at least three bystanders came through the area – a man walking his dog, a woman walking her dog and a man on a bicycle. All of them were encountered under the power lines outside of the trail where investigators found Brian Laundrie’s remains that morning.
The parents entered the park on foot, with Roberta carrying a red backpack that appeared stuffed with water bottles, the outline of which were easily seen bulging through the fabric. Chris’ hands were empty, and his pockets did not appear full.
DeSantis expresses his condolences to Petito family in phone call with father
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke with Gabby Petito's father, Joe Petito, on Wednesday afternoon to express his condolences for the loss of his daughter. "He's a dad as well – the governor," Christina Pushaw, DeSantis's press secretary, told Fox News. "He has kids. He just empathizes and he wanted to reach out and express his support." Just days after Brian Laundrie was reported missing by his parents last month, DeSantis said that state law enforcement would assist in the search.
The couple walked at a steady pace toward the Live Long trail, just off of South Powerline Trail in Sarasota County’s Big Slough Preserve. Before they entered there, they peeked into brush nearby, returning empty handed but complaining about the presence of a reporter and asking to be given at least 25 feet of space.
Then they entered the Live Long trail next to a wooden marker labeled 149 at around 7:40 a.m. – with Chris repeatedly stepping into areas of brush, popping back out at least a half dozen times.
The two law enforcement agents remained far behind, although within sight.
At around 8 a.m., Chris split off into an area of brush and Roberta walked up the main trail. The officers followed Chris, who rejoined Roberta without them about 12 minutes later, with his pants wet up to his knees.
Brian Laundrie search: No discrepancy between FBI and parents on missing timeline, says family lawyer
The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie has chalked up differences in the timeline of when the Florida fugitive was reported missing to a lack of communication between law enforcement agencies and tells Fox News Digital there is "no discrepancy between the FBI and the Laundries."Steven Bertolino represents Chris and Roberta Laundrie and their son, Brian, who is a person of interest in the murder of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. Brian is also wanted on separate charges of unauthorized use of her bank card.
By then, Roberta made her way to the edge of a clearing that police cordoned off after telling the parents that they’d discovered human remains and some of Brian’s personal belongings.
She was about 15 yards from where investigators set up a blue tent and within a ring of yellow caution tape that appeared in news helicopter footage later that day.
Twenty yards in the other direction is where police set up a white tent in the brush. Investigators were seen searching both locations, a short distance up the trail from the dry bag.
Chris came back and met Roberta at the edge of that clearing. They spoke in whispers and turned back toward the entrance of the trail around 8:15 a.m.
Video: Brian Laundrie’s Parents Change Their Story About His Disappearance (Inside Edition)
Through their attorney, they said that they had not seen anything in that immediate area at the time. Neither did the reporter present. The parents also said they had not been told by authorities exactly where their son’s remains had been found.
Boyfriend of US roadtripper Gabby Petito found dead
Human remains found in a Florida nature reserve belong to the boyfriend of murdered road tripper Gabby Petito, US authorities said Thursday. - Bodycam footage - Police searched for Laundrie for weeks, until they discovered human remains and "items of interest" in Florida's Carlton Reserve on Wednesday, which were on Thursday confirmed to be Laundrie's.The FBI said in a statement that "a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains... are those of Brian Laundrie.
Spokespersons for the North Port Police Department and FBI both declined to specify which location contained Brian’s remains and which contained other items of interest. But the Laundries did not walk into either location or place any items on the ground in the area.
Also in the immediate area is a rope swing – but it looks to be different from the one Brian Laundrie posed on with his nephew in a July 2020image taken in the area.
On Sunday, a group of people including TikTok user @chroniclesofolivia returned to the area where Chris and Roberta found the dry bag and discovered some bone fragments and a Nalgene-style water bottle with labeling from a Seattle REI Co-op. An identical bottle can be seen 7 minutes and 27 seconds into Gabby Petito's "van life"video.
Police collected the bones but could not determine at the scene whether they were human or animal. They left the bottle behind and later said none of the items found Sunday were tied to the investigation. The department's spokesman did not immediately respond when shown the screengrab from Petito's video.
"I feel it was very negligent, it was irresponsible," Olivia told Fox News. "They were more interested in the bones – but they knew they were animal bones."
Richard Stafford, the attorney for Petito's parents, said he didn't understand why police would have left the bottle behind.
Brian Laundrie's lawyer: FBI has 'everything they need' in Gabby Petito murder probe
The attorney for now-deceased Brian Laundrie and his vilified parents said he has been told by the FBI that they believe they "have everything they need" with respect to the investigation into the murder of Gabby Petito. Sitting down with Fox News Digital at his New York office Friday, Steven Bertolino addressed questions about whether Chris and Roberta Laundrie planned to cooperate in the investigation into the death of their son's late fiancée. After explaining what the FBI had told him, Bertolino added: "I was unaware of that as of yesterday. So, things change every day in this saga." "And it is tragic.
"It looks like hers," he said. "We have a picture that's from before she left for her trip. It looks like that bottle. I don't know why it would be left there."
Laundrie's parents had gone into the park on Sept. 13 and 14 to search the same area, Bertolino said, but it was dark and raining the first night and underwater the next day. It’s also the same area where they told investigators they believed their son may have gone all along, he added, and where Chris searched with police in early October.
At the height of the flooding, water levels were 8 to 10 feet higher, a North Port officer told Fox News Digital. And the FBI said earlier this week that authorities discovered Brian’s remains in an area that had previously been underwater.
At around 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Chris led Roberta through a patch of brambles and other brush toward the edge of a clearing roughly 20 yards off the main trail.
As the reporter followed, he put his phone away to brush the thorns aside and enter the clearing, observing the parents pick up a white dry bag and a dark object.
The parents put the item into the bag. Their body language immediately following this discovery can be seen on video – and they began their trek back to the power lines. Bertolino later said the bag belonged to Brian but said he could not specify what the parents found along with it.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., Chris spoke with Bertolino twice on the phone and also with a North Port detective, the lawyer later said. The parents stood under the power lines in direct sunlight until the detective met them at around 8:41 a.m.
Brian Laundrie notebook found near remains 'may be salvageable,' police say
Brian Laundrie's notebook, which his parents found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 20 before handing it over to authorities, “may be salvageable,” police say.The FBI confirmed that a notebook, along with a backpack and dry bag containing other items that belonged to Laundrie, turned up at the North Port, Florida, park in an area that had previously been underwater, not far from where authorities found Laundrie's partial remains that same day.
Only some of their conversation could be overheard.
"I think we might have found something," the detective said at one point.
Bertolino later explained that the parents were shown images of a backpack on the officer’s phone and asked to confirm whether it belonged to Brian. They said yes. The officer then informed them that human remains had been found nearby and asked them to leave the park, go home and wait for an update.
Exclusive Fox News Digital video captured the exchange. The officer placed a hand on Chris’ shoulder. Roberta wiped what appeared to be a tear from his eye. And both parents looked visibly shaken.
They returned home a few minutes past 9 a.m.
The detective then stated that the park would soon be closed and that he was blocking the entrance to preserve evidence. Within minutes, police arrived in force and officially shut down the area.
Hours later, the FBI announced investigators had recovered human remains as well as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie. They confirmed the remains as his through dental records the following day, although a cause and manner of death had not yet been determined as of Saturday. A forensic anthropologist will assist the investigation.
Bertolino told Fox News’ Claudia Kelly-Bazan Saturday that Brian would eventually be cremated and that the family would forego a funeral.
Brian Laundrie was the sole person of interest in the strangling of his former fiancée, Gabby Petito, whose remains investigators found on Sept. 19 at a Wyoming campsite weeks after the couple had stayed there.
When Fox News returned to the park after it reopened Friday, there was clear evidence that authorities had come and gone -- cleared brush, trampled grass and fresh tire marks in the muddy ground. Grass near where the parents found Brian’s white dry bag had been marked in orange spray paint, brambles cut away, and there flags placed in the soil. Orange paint marked other areas nearby, just yards away from where the parents passed Wednesday morning.
On Saturday, a Fox News drone captured images of a massive hog charging through the same clearing where Roberta had paused just days earlier, at the heart of the search area. Several pools of water still hadn’t receded.
Brian Laundrie remains: When to expect autopsy results from forensic anthropologist .
A forensic anthropologist analyzing Brian Laundrie's remains will likely have some answers regarding the deceased fugitive's manner, cause and time of death in two to three weeks, according to Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino. The Florida District 12 Medical Examiner conducted an initial autopsy after authorities recovered Laundrie's remains on Oct. 20, but results came back inconclusive. The remains were then sent to a forensic anthropologist. Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains, conduct DNA tests and look for any signs of weapon evidence to help determine how a person died.