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FBI Confirms Remains Found in Laundrie Search

Remains were found near missing man's backpack, notebook in Florida park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2021 12:41 PM CDT
Updated Oct 20, 2021 3:52 PM CDT
Cadaver Dog Called to Park After Laundrie Items Found
A law enforcement officer loads a swamp vehicle at the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve in North Port, Fla., as they search for Brian Laundrie, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.   (Matt Houston/Sarasota Herald-Tribune via AP)

(Newser) Update: The FBI confirmed Wednesday that "what appears to be human remains" have been found in the Florida search for Brian Laundrie. WFLA reports that Michael McPherson, chief of the FBI's Tampa office, told a press conference that the partial remains were found near a backpack and notebook believed to belong to the missing 23-year-old. McPherson said forensic teams are examining the remains, which were found in a swampy area that was previously underwater, but it will take time to identify them, the AP reports. Authorities say Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and the adjoining Carlton Preserve will remain closed while the find is investigated. Our story from earlier today follows:

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More than a month after he was last seen, a breakthrough may have been made in the search for Brian Laundrie. NBC News cites a "senior law enforcement official" who says human remains have been found near where items belonging to the missing 23-year-old were discovered in a Florida park Wednesday morning. According to NBC's source, the partial remains were found near a backpack in an area that was previously underwater. CNN reports that the Sarasota County Medical Examiner and a cadaver dog were called to the area.

Laundrie, who was last seen Sept. 13, is considered a person of interest in the death of fiancee Gabby Petito, whose body was found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest weeks after Laundrie returned home alone from their cross-country road trip. His items were found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park a day after the heavily wooded reserve reopened to the public. The park and the neighboring Carlton Reserve had been closed for a month during the FBI-led search for Laundrie. A lawyer for his parents says they went to the park accompanied by law enforcement Wednesday morning. The items were found in an area that apparently hadn't been explored during the search.

"Chris and Roberta Laundrie went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian," lawyer Steven Bertolino said in a statement, per Fox 13. "The FBI and [North Port Police Department] 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." (Read more Brian Laundrie stories.)

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