The FBI on Wednesday said that “what appears to be human remains” were discovered in the same area as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie in a Florida wildlife reserve area that was previously underwater.
A backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie were discovered, FBI officials said in a brief news conference. An FBI response team will be on the scene for several days in a bid to obtain more evidence, adding that the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and nearby Carlton Reserve will be closed during the investigation.
The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was also called to the preserve, said a coroner’s office representative to Fox59.
“After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found,” said Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino in a statement to several news outlets.
Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, went to the park on Wednesday to “search for Brian,” Bertolino also said. “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,” he added. “As of now, law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.”
Neither the North Port Police Department nor FBI issued public comments about the matter.
Last month, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on bank fraud charges. A Wyoming coroner confirmed earlier this month that Petito was killed via strangulation, ruling her manner of death as a homicide.
It alleges Laundrie used a Capital One bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000. It does not say to whom the card belonged or what type of charges were made.
Petito and Laundrie had set off on a cross-country trip throughout the United States and documented their travels on social media. Officials said Laundrie returned to North Port without Petito in early September, and Petito’s family later reported her missing on Sept. 11.
The couple was stopped on Aug. 12 by police in Moab, Utah, after they had a physical altercation, but no charges were filed. A police bodycamera video showed the officer responding to the scene, interviewing both Laundrie and Petito.
Days later, Laundrie’s parents said he went on a hike on Sept. 13 and never returned.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.