HUMAN remains were found on Wednesday near a backpack and notebook that belong to Brian Laundrie, the FBI confirmed.
Brian's parents were present when the shocking discovery was made in the Carlton Reserve where they say he went for a hike on September 13, the last day they saw him.
During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, FBI Tampa said that the remains had not yet been identified.
They confirmed the remains were found in an area that was submerged earlier in the search.
Special Agent Michael McPherson said investigators found "what appears to be human remains, along with personal items, such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie."
He added that the reserve will remain closed as the investigation continues and urged the public for patience.
Teams are expected to remain on the ground for several days.
FBI agents did not answer questions and were met with a chant of "Justice for Gabby" as the press briefing ended.
"I know you have a lot of questions but we don't have all the answers yet," McPherson said.
The Carlton Reserve is linked to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park where Chris and Roberta Laundrie searched for their son this morning.
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
"Chris and Roberta Laundrie were at the reserve earlier today when human remains and some of Brian's possessions were located in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be," lawyer Steven Bertolino said in a statement.
"Chris and Roberta will wait for the forensic identification of the human remains before making any additional comments."
The discovery came as:
- Brian's belongings were found by his parents on a trail he often used
- Sleuths have speculated what was found in the white bag
- Brian's mom appeared to wipe a tear from his dad's face
The medical examiner was called in on Wednesday morning after the fugitive's parents reportedly discovered a white bag and a dark-colored object in a patch of brambles.
Footage also showed vehicles with government tags arriving at the scene.
The FBI later confirmed that "items of interest" were found, adding that their "evidence response team is processing the scene."
Laundrie's parents joined the search at the creek on Wednesday, as it was closed again just one day after being reopened to the public.
In video footage captured by Fox News, Roberta and Chris are seen speaking with a police officer on a hiking trail in Myakkahatchee Creek.
While much of the conversation is inaudible, the officer at one stage seems to tell them "we've found something" and advises the pair to go home.
The officer places his hand on Chris Laundrie's shoulder during the exchange. Roberta then turns to face him and wipes his cheek.
Bertolino said earlier in a statement: "Chris and Roberta Laundrie went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian.
"The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian’s parents’ intentions and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning after a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found.
"As of now law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area," he said.
Two white tents were later seen erected in the park after the coroner was called out in a large white van. A human remains detection team was also at the scene.
BRIAN LAUNDRIE'S TIMELINE
Laundrie and Gabby were roughly two months into a four-month adventure when he returned to his Florida home with her van on September 1.
The vehicle was found parked outside Laundrie's parents' home, where he and Petito had lived for the past two years.
Laundrie was later reported missing by his family on September 13 after allegedly telling them that he was going to take a hike in the Carlton Reserve.
Laundrie's parents said that they drove his car home from a Florida wildlife reserve after he "failed to return from a hike."
Yet they did not report him missing for another two days.
Laundrie's parents reportedly told police they realized Brian hadn't come back from his hike "on Wednesday or Thursday," and that's when they went to pick up the Mustang and drove it back to their home.
Laundrie's parents remained at their Florida home as of Tuesday afternoon.
Gabby's killer, who has not been named, is now listed among the FBI's Most Wanted as the agency hunts for information on the young woman's final movements.
Laundrie has only been named as a person of interest but not a suspect.
GABBY'S FINAL DAYS
They narrowed down her final days to between August 27 and August 30 as they call on the public to contact them if they saw her during this time near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Wyoming.
Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed that Gabby Petito died by strangulation during a press conference last week.
He added that Gabby's predicted death was three to four weeks before her body was found on September 19.
The body was outside "in the wilderness" for this time.
The doctor also confirmed that Gabby Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death and that a toxicology report was unable to be released at this time.
Following the results of the autopsy, Brian Laundrie's family attorney, Steve Bertolino, released a statement saying: "Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy.
"While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise.
"At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him."
The FBI has issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on September 24 for reportedly spending $1,000 on Gabby's bank card after the last day she was seen alive.
Brian Laundrie timeline
Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:
- July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
- August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
- August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
- September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
- September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
- September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
- September 13: Laundrie leaves home to go hiking in Carlton Reserve, Florida. His family had initially said he departed on September 14, but revised their timeline weeks later.
- September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
- September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
- September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
- September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
- September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
- September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
- September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
- October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
- October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
- October 20: Laundrie's personal items were found near the Myakkahatchee Creek Park trail in Florida. The medical examiner was called to the scene to investigate.
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