Gabby Petito Case: Brian Laundrie Found Dead After Month-Long Manhunt

After remains found in Wyoming were confirmed to belong to Gabby Petito, authorities tracked down remains of her fiancé Brian Laundrie in Florida. For the latest details in the case, keep reading.

By Samantha Schnurr, Lindsay Weinberg Oct 21, 2021 9:55 PMTags
Watch: Brian Laundrie Found Dead After Month-Long Manhunt

After a month-long search, Brian Laundrie has been found dead. 

The human remains discovered in Florida on Oct. 20 have been confirmed to belong to the 23-year-old fiancé of late influencer Gabby Petito, FBI Denver said on Twitter.

"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," the authorities wrote.

On Oct. 20, personal items belonging to Laundrie were found near a trail he frequented in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Fla., spurring a thorough investigation of that area, Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said.

Law enforcement officials said at a press conference that partial human remains, along with Laundrie's backpack and notebook, were discovered in Florida's Carlton Reserve at a location previously underwater. A spokesperson for the North Port Police told NBC News the remains were "skeletal." 

After the remains were identified as Laundrie's, Bertolino released a statement from the family: "Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian's. We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundrie's privacy at this time."

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On Sept. 1, before going missing, Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country trip that he and Petito had taken. Petito's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11, and just days later, Laundrie's family said they had not seen him since Sept. 14, police said. He did not speak with police before his disappearance, and he was not a suspect in her death.


Amid news of Laundrie's disappearance, Petito's lawyer released a statement on behalf of her family, saying, "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding."

His discovery marks the latest development in a case that has gripped the nation. It took a tragic turn when authorities confirmed it was Petito's remains that were found in the vicinity of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19. Her manner of death was determined to be homicide.

About a month later, on Oct. 12, the Teton County Coroner's Office announced that the cause of death was strangulation. Her time of death was estimated to be three to four weeks before her body was found. 

"The worst fears of any parent have been realized with the recovery of Gabby," a family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to search-related expenses. "We are devasted [sic] and heartbroken. On behalf of the entire family, we send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed and donated to help in our search for Gabby. We still do not have the words that seem appropriate to truly express how grateful we are and how uplifting this support has been during this challenging time."

Watch: Brian Laundrie INDICTED on Bank Fraud Charges

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie on Sept. 22, relating to his alleged activities following Petito's death. The indictment obtained by E! News accused him of using an unauthorized debit card and bank account between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

In the midst of a four-week manhunt, Laundrie's parents went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 20 to search for their son, the family's lawyer said in a statement.

"After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found," Bertolino said. He later added that the discoveries were located in an area the parents "had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be." 

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