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Brian Laundrie's Remains Were Confirmed To Be Found In A Florida Nature Park

The discovery ends the intense search for Gabby Petito's fiancé, who was named a "person of interest" in her disappearance.

Last updated on October 21, 2021, at 6:29 p.m. ET

Posted on October 21, 2021, at 5:58 p.m. ET

AP

Brian Laundrie talks to a police officer after being pulled over in the van he was traveling in with Gabby Petito near the entrance to Arches National Park.

Human remains found in a Florida nature park are those of Brian Laundrie, FBI officials said Thursday, ending the monthlong search for the man who was named a "person of interest" in the disappearance of Gabby Petito.

The remains were found Wednesday near items including a backpack and notebook that officials said belonged to Laundrie, Petito's fiancé.

Officials used dental records to confirm that the remains found at Carlton Reserve were those of Laundrie, who went missing as authorities ramped up their investigation into the strangulation death of 22-year-old Petito.

#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

Twitter: @FBIDenver

The remains were found in a section of the park that officials said had been previously covered in water. The FBI's Denver office did not release any additional details, such as a suspected cause of death or what condition the remains were found in.

Laundrie and Petito had been traveling and living in a van, recording their experiences for their Instagram and YouTube audiences. Laundrie then returned to his family's home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1, but Petito's whereabouts were unknown.

Her family reported her missing 10 days later, and police were frustrated in their efforts to interview Laundrie about her disappearance. Police eventually resorted to making a public appeal to Laundrie and his parents in press conferences.

But officers did not speak to Laundrie's family for nearly a week, after he too disappeared from his home while authorities ramped up their investigation.

Petito's body was found Sept. 19, the day after investigators spoke with Laundrie's family, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Days later, authorities in Wyoming issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest, accusing him of "unauthorized use" of a debit card shortly after Petito's death.

Officials also determined that Petito died of strangulation, but did not release additional details about her autopsy.

Laundrie's remains bring to an end the search for the couple that spurred national headlines and a massive following among true crime fans, from TikTok to cable news. However, most of the details about how the two died and what happened before the couple went missing are unclear.

During a briefing with reporters Wednesday, Michael McPherson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Tampa office, acknowledged that despite the recent discoveries, investigators still didn't have all the answers.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.