HUMAN REMAINS MAY BE GABBY’S BOYFRIEND
MIAMI: Human remains have been discovered in a Florida nature reserve where police have been searching for the missing boyfriend of murdered road-tripper Gabby Petito, the FBI said.
FBI special agent Michael McPherson said personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie, who has been named a “person of interest” in Petito’s murder, had also been found in the Carlton Reserve near Venice, Florida. “Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie,” Mr McPherson said. “These items were found in an area that until recently had been under water.
“Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area,” he said, adding it was likely the team would be on the scene “for several days”.
Police have been searching for the 23-year-old Laundrie for weeks, and live television images showed search teams and sniffer dogs at work in the sprawling nature reserve.
The body of Petito, 22, lay in the wilderness of the western US state of Wyoming for up to a month before it was found in mid-September. According to the coroner, she had been strangled to death.
Petito had quit her job and packed her life into a camper van for a cross-country adventure with Laundrie, starting in July, documenting their journey in a stream of social media posts.
In images shared by the couple online they appeared to be happy, but in August police were called to a disturbance after the pair had a violent fight.
Petito’s family filed a missing-person report on September 11 after she mysteriously vanished and Laundrie returned home to Florida in the van without her.
Laundrie refused to cooperate, and then vanished.