BREAKING NEWS Fire sparks near Airport Road in Medford at the Chevrolet dealership Full Story
SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Dental records show remains found at Carlton Reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, FBI says

The FBI's Denver office said Thursday that remains found in a Florida nature reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, who went missing last month. The FBI said dental records confirmed the identification.

Posted: Oct 21, 2021 3:02 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2021 3:21 PM

By Aya Elamroussi, Taylor Romine, Leyla Santiago, Randi Kaye and Sara Weisfeldt, CNN

(CNN) -- The FBI's Denver office said Thursday that remains found a day earlier in a Florida nature reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, who disappeared last month just days after his fiancée Gabby Petito was reported missing.

The FBI said dental records confirmed the identification.

The identification came hours after police in North Port, Florida, said the remains that were found were skeletal and belonged to a human.

"They are human remains, no doubt there. I would say that the remains were consistent with one individual, you know skeletal remains," North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN.

Investigators also found clothing believed to be consistent with what Laundrie was wearing when he took off September 13, according to Taylor.

Less than a week after Laundrie went missing last month, authorities in Wyoming found Petito's remains in a national forest. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

On Wednesday, investigators also found a backpack and a notebook belonging to Laundrie, 23, near the remains while they were searching the Carlton Reserve in North Port, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.

"The notebook to my understanding has not been opened. You know, that will need to be processed," Taylor said.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN the notebook is "possibly salvageable." The source said the notebook was "outside of the dry bag."

"It had been clearly wet and they are going to use any potential means to dry that out before opening it," according to the source, who added: "They'll be very careful with it."

The source said it is unclear how the notebook ended up outside the dry bag.

When Taylor was asked about whether a weapon was found, he said he could not comment.

When asked if there is an ongoing search for the murderer of Gabby Petito, he responded, "That is certainly not in the North Port Police Department's purview."

During a search with police, Brian's father, Chris Laundrie, was the first to spot an item belonging to his son, according to Taylor.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that "the probability is strong that it is Brian's remains."

The discovery came on Wednesday morning when Laundrie's parents and law enforcement searched an area of the reserve that had been underwater but recently reopened to the public.

"It's quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son's belongings alongside some remains. That's got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken," Bertolino told Cuomo.

Search conditions had been very difficult
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said Thursday law enforcement had been searching in treacherous conditions, including nearly chest-high water full of snakes and alligators.

"These are very, very difficult conditions. You're searching in areas that you just can't walk up and look. It's not like you're searching a house or a car," he said. "These areas are huge and they're covered by water."

The exhaustive search for Laundrie stretched over a month as authorities tried to piece together what happened to him and Petito during their road trip through the Western US this summer.

Petito, 22, disappeared on the trip amid tensions in their relationship, and her remains were later found near where the couple had last been seen together.

Laundrie, who had returned by himself to his parents' home in Florida, refused to talk with investigators and didn't return after telling his parents he was going to the nature reserve to hike.

He was not charged in Petito's death, although he was indicted for allegedly using two financial accounts that did not belong to him in the days following her killing.

Authorities, including several K-9 units and off-road vehicles, returned to the reserve on Thursday morning to further search the area.

Brian Laundrie's parents were on scene when remains were found
Laundrie's family had declined to talk publicly following legal advice, but they had directed authorities to where they believed Laundrie may be staying in the reserve, Bertolino said.

The parents -- Chris and Roberta Laundrie -- joined in the search Wednesday morning and found a bag belonging to their son at the park, which their attorney described as "happenstance."

According to Bertolino, Laundrie's parents informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department on Tuesday night that they wanted to visit the park Wednesday morning to search for their son.

Law enforcement met them there and closely accompanied them as they entered the park, Bertolino said.

"As they went further in, Chris ventured off the trail into the woods. He was zigzagging in different areas, law enforcement was doing the same thing. And Roberta Laundrie was walking down the trail," Bertolino said. "At some point, Chris locates what's called a dry bag. The dry bag is a white bag, laying in the woods, say 20 feet or so off the trail."

The dry bag was in some brambles and he didn't want to move it because he wanted his law enforcement to see it, Bertolino said. However, Chris Laundrie couldn't find law enforcement and didn't want to leave the bag there with a news reporter standing nearby, so he picked it up, Bertolino explained.

"He did meet up shortly with law enforcement, they looked at the contents of the bag. At that time, law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail," Bertolino told CNN.

"At that point, the Laundries were notified there was also remains near the backpack, and they were asked to leave the preserve."

The remains were found "about 2 to 3 miles inside the Carlton Reserve, or about a 45-minute walk" from the entrance at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Taylor said Wednesday.

When asked why the parents chose to go to the park on Wednesday, Bertolino said it was the first day it was reopened to the public.

"The parents had assumed that the experts, the FBI and all the tracking teams they had would be able to locate Brian based upon the information that we had provided them to the specific areas and trails in the park that Brian liked to visit," Bertolino said. "The park had been closed to the public. There was really no other reason for the Laundries to go search anywhere else."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 49°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 39°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 42°
Rain arrives overnight, messy start to Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events