The assistance Brian Laundrie’s parents gave to investigators searching for their son “undercuts” speculation that they may have helped him evade authorities, a former federal prosecutor said in a new report.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie, who remained largely holed up in their North Port home in Florida amid the manhunt, had faced the suggestions of protesters and online sleuths that they were in on their son’s actions.
“The fact they may have led investigators to their son’s possessions and possibly his remains — that all undercuts the argument that they were aiding and abetting his escape,” attorney Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, said.
“That leads me to believe they’ve been cooperative and not the other way around,” he added.
Rahmani said he believes the remains found near a bridge that connects the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and adjoining Carlton Reserve likely belong to Laundrie — “unless he was trying to plant evidence next to someone else’s remains to throw law enforcement off his tracks.”
The lawyer told the Sun he believes Laundrie was involved in his girlfriend Gabby Petito’s murder, but said his apparent death means authorities will have a hard time solving the sensational case.
“I’m sure Gabby Petito’s family wants some sort of closure, but if Brian Laundrie is dead, this is as good as it’s going to get,” he said.
the Laundrie family lawyer told The Post that the “probability is high” that the remains belong to the 23-year-old fugitive, who was named a “person of interest” in Petito’s death.
The 22-year-old Long island native’s remains were found on Sept. 19 in a Wyoming park and her death was later ruled a homicide by strangulation.
Apparent human remains found after Brian Laundrie’s possessions located in Florida nature reserve
Human remains were found in the same area as personal belongings of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé who’s been missing for over a month, officials said.
A senior law enforcement official says what appears to be partial human remains have been found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve in a location that was previously under water.
There is no confirmation the remains belong to Laundrie.
The remains were found near a backpack, according to this source, which may be consistent with the type of items Laundrie may have had in his possession.
Laundrie’s parents directed FBI agents and North Port police to the location where “some articles belonging to Brian were found,” according to a statement by Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian,” Bertolino said.
“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.”
The local medical examiner and a K9 unit trained to find human remains were called to the scene, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Carlton Reserve and neighboring Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park are within short drives north of the Laundrie family home.
Laundrie is considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Petito. But an arrest warrant was issued for him after authorities said he used her debit card without permission.
Her body was discovered on Sept. 19 at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, and a coroner ruled her death a homicide by “manual strangulation.”
Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip, chronicling their travels on social media, before he returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, arriving there Sept. 1 without his fiancée, police said.
Laundrie’s parents have kept a low profile ever since, telling investigators their son went hiking Sept. 14 and never returned, sparking a national manhunt.
During the search for the 22-year-old Long Island woman, police in Moab City, Utah, released body camera video capturing a distraught Petito following an alleged physical altercation with Laundrie.
Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie were found in a Florida wilderness park as the search continued for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito, a Laundrie family attorney said.
Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, took part in the search Wednesday with the FBI and police from North Port, Florida, more than a month after Laundrie was reported missing.
“After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented some articles belonging to Brian were found,” attorney Steven Bertolino said in a text to The Associated Press. “As of now law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.”
No other details were immediately available. The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed they had been summoned to the reserve but would not comment further.
Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the killing of Petito, who was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents while the couple was on a cross-country trip out West.
Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. The coroner there concluded she died of strangulation and her body had been where it was found for three or four weeks.
The couple was stopped Aug. 12 by police in Moab, Utah, after they had a physical altercation, but no charges were filed.
Laundrie returned home alone Sept. 1 in the Ford van the couple took on their trip. He was reported missing after telling his parents on Sept. 14 that he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, a vast nature preserve in Sarasota County that has for weeks been a key area in the search.
The activity Wednesday was focused on the nearby Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where television news reports showed numerous law enforcement vehicles arriving and a tent set up inside the woods. The location is where a Ford Mustang that Laundrie drove to the wilderness was found.
Laundrie is charged in a federal Wyoming indictment with unauthorized use of a debit card, which would allow authorities to arrest him if he is found alive.
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.
The case generated enormous public interest but also raised uncomfortable questions over the unequal attention given to the hundreds of cases of Native American and other minority women missing or murdered across the United States. Petito is white.
Some articles belonging to Brian Laundrie were discovered at a Florida nature park where authorities have searched for the fugitive – and the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office has reportedly been called.
Laundrie’s parents went Wednesday to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where the items were found, lawyer Steven Bertolino told The Post.
“Chris and Roberta went to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park this morning to search for Brian,” he said in an email. “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 search of that area,” Bertolino added.
the Medical Examiner’s Office has been summoned to the site.
The find was made after the heavily wooded reserve — which had been closed to the public late last month for the FBI-led search — reopened, the city announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
The neighboring 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where authorities have also been searching for the fugitive, was listed by Sarasota County as also being open.
Brian Laundrie search: human remains found near fugitive’s belongings in Florida Park
“Items of interest” were found at the Carlton Reserve this morning in connection with the search for Brian Laundrie, the FBI Tampa confirmed in a tweet today.
According to the tweet, an FBI Evidence Response team is “processing the scene.” The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time, the FBI said.
Possible human remains were discovered inside Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday, the same day Chris and Roberta Laundrie, the parents of fugitive Brian Laundrie, were inside the park when “some articles belonging to Brian were found.”
A senior law enforcement source said David Spunt “what appear to be human remains” were found at a site being searched by a cadaver dog within the park. The FBI is expected to provide an update regarding the investigation later on Wednesday.
Steven Bertolino, who represents the Laundrie family, confirmed to Fox News Digital that the Laundries informed law enforcement on Tuesday night of their intentions to search the park and met officers there. Bertolino confirmed that while searching areas that Brian frequented, “some articles belonging to Brian were found.”
Officers are now conducting a more thorough search of the area, Bertolino said. A spokesperson for the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the office was called to the Myakkahatchee on Wednesday.
Sarasota County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Russell Vega, told Fox News Digital in an email that his office responded to the area “at the request of law enforcement.” He could not confirm the details of possible human remains.
The park is now closed to the public, having reopened only Tuesday following a weeks-long search for the fugitive.
Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the disappearance and subsequent homicide of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. The FBI later issued a warrant for his arrest on charges related to his unauthorized use of her bank card.
The Laundries, who have claimed their son went to Myakkahatchee on Sept. 13, the day he was last seen, left their North Port home just before 7:15 a.m. local time for the environmental park, where two men in hiking gear – including at least one who later identified himself as a law enforcement officer – began trailing behind them.
The Laundries and one of the men appeared to discuss a discovery before the parents left the park, which was then closed to media and the public.
In a worldwide exclusive, video obtained shows the Laundries and the law enforcement officer huddling and speaking as the officer appears to show the couple an unknown discovery. The officer appeared to tell the parents: “I think we might have found something.”
During the couple’s time inside, Chris Laundrie could be seen continually moving in and out of areas of the brush. After a short while, he and Roberta Laundrie separated, with Chris and the two men moving into brush on the left side of the trail for approximately 12 minutes.
Chris returned without law enforcement, and the couple continued on. The Laundries later discovered a white bag and a dark-colored object after traveling through a patch of brambles at the edge of the brush at a clearing. They then could be seen putting the object into the bag and handing it over to the law enforcement officer shortly thereafter, who later took it from them.
On their way out of the park, the couple made a phone call and then received a call. There they were soon joined by the law enforcement officer, who could be seen patting Chris Laundrie’s shoulder as he huddled with the couple.
The couple left the park at 8:45 a.m. The Laundries returned home shortly thereafter, and appeared emotional when confronted by protesters there.
Meanwhile, about a dozen uniformed law enforcement officers and approximately six people in plainclothes could be seen entering the park, with several police or unmarked vehicles and gators seen entering. The North Port Mobile Command Center arrived at the park shortly after 10:30 a.m. local time.
A spokesperson for North Port Police Department referred Fox News Digital to the FBI for comment. An FBI spokesperson did not immediately respond.
Before Gabby Petito disappeared while on a cross-country van trip with her fiancé, her conversations with her mother appeared to reveal Petito had “more and more tension” with her travel partner, a police affidavit for a search warrant indicates.
The affidavit, filed by Florida police last week, offers new insight into what investigators have gleaned as they try to determine not only what happened to Petito but also the current whereabouts of the fiancé who returned to Florida this month without her.
Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé, has been missing for a week. Here’s why it’s been so hard to find him
Human remains that officials said are consistent with Petito’s description were found Sunday in an undeveloped camping area in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park.
An autopsy was underway Tuesday morning, and the FBI is expected to release the results later in the day, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said
And a police search for the fiancé, Brian Laundrie, resumed Tuesday at a Florida nature reserve where his parents reportedly said he indicated he was going last week.
Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, had been road-tripping in a white van from New York through the US West over the summer, regularly posting photos and stories to their social media pages with the hashtag #vanlife.
Those posts abruptly stopped in late August, and Laundrie returned to his North Port, Florida, home on September 1 in their van without Petito, whose family reported her missing September 11. Authorities are looking for Laundrie, whose parents told investigators he left home with a backpack September 14, and have searched his home, including.
The case has become an obsession for many, spurring digital detectives to comb through the couple’s online trail. The story has also further highlighted the tens of thousands of unsolved missing persons stories.
Before she vanished, Petito sent multiple text messages and had many talks with her mother via cell phone during her trip, Florida police wrote in an application filed last week for a search warrant for an external hard drive found in the couple’s van.
In those conversations, there “appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” the affidavit reads. On August 27, Petito’s mother received one last communication from her daughter, which she called an “odd text,” the affidavit says.
The message read: “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” Because the text message referred to Petito’s grandfather as Stan, her mother was concerned that something was wrong, the warrant states.
Following that text message, Petito’s phone was no longer operational and she stopped posting anything on social media about their trip, the warrant says.
One more text came on August 30 that read, “No service in Yosemite,” but her family doubts she wrote it, Richard Stafford, an attorney representing Joseph Petito and her mother, Nicole Schmidt said.
Other evidence of tension between Petito and Laundrie also has emerged. A 911 audio recording in Utah sheds new light on a now-well-publicized incident in which police confronted the pair on August 12.
In the 911 recording from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Moab, Utah, a caller reports what he called a “domestic dispute” between a couple.
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department shows them talking with Brian Laundrie.
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department shows them talking with Brian Laundrie.
“We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller says. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”
Police later stopped the couple, and previously released police documents and body-camera video reveal what followed that day.
Although the Petito and Laundrie are described in a police report as getting into a physical fight following an argument, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” Officer Eric Pratt wrote in the report.
At the suggestion by police, the couple separated for the night, the report said, which described Petito as “confused and emotional.”
A National Park Service ranger who also responded to the call interacted with Petito for about 90 minutes, and warned her that her relationship with Laundrie had markings of a “toxic” one, the ranger told the Deseret News of Utah.
“I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” ranger Melissa Hulls said