the essential The human remains found this Wednesday 20 October in a Florida nature reserve correspond well to the boyfriend of the murdered young traveler Gabby Petito, the US federal police said Thursday. Personal items such as a backpack and a notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie were also found.
“Personal items such as a backpack and a notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie” had also been found, said an FBI agent on Wednesday. The 23 -year-old young man, who had refused to answer the investigators’ questions before disappearing, had been designated as a “person of interest in the investigation”. Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito, 22 years, had left New York in July for a trip in a converted van supposed to last four months and whose stages, in the grandiose scenery of the parks nationals of the American West, were regularly shared on Instagram and YouTube, through photos and videos. But the young man with the shaved head had returned earlier than expected – and alone – on September 1, when Gabby Petito’s parents had not heard from her since the end of August.
They had finally reported his disappearance on September but Brian Laundrie refused to answer investigators’ questions before disappearing, triggering a vast manhunt. The federal police, who had indicted him for fraudulent use of a bank card, had indeed issued an arrest warrant against him.
His personality had become central to the investigation, especially after the release of a video by the Moab, Utah police.
“She gets annoyed sometimes”, he declared in particular to the agents, called for a marital dispute, while Gabby Petito appeared in tears, in a car. Then the young woman’s body was finally found on 19 September near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, and the autopsy determined that she had been strangled.
After weeks of research, investigators had come to comb through the Carlton swamp reserve, not far from the couple’s home, a “large and hostile area at times”, police had warned.
“Alligators and snakes”
“It’s dangerous work for search teams advancing through swamps infested with alligators and snakes,” police said. In addition to human remains, they discovered “personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie” in an area which was “until recently under water,” the special agent said on Wednesday. Michael McPherson, Federal Police.
The parents of the young man, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, “have been informed that the remains (…) were those of Brian,” their lawyer, Steven Bertolino, confirmed to AFP. What’s in the notebook found near Brian Laundrie’s remains? Did the young man succumb to the dangers of the nature reserve or did he commit suicide?
Forensic scientists should remain on site “probably for several days,” Agent McPherson warned on Wednesday, in an attempt to answer the many questions that remain unanswered. The disappearance of Gabby Petito, then the manhunt to find her boyfriend, have in any case been the subject of intense media coverage and a torrent of publications on social networks, to the point of causing a controversy over the disproportionate attention given to the disappearances of white women compared to those from minorities.