Brian Laundrie ‘was upset when he left home for the final time and ignored dad’s pleas to stay’


Brian Laundrie was ‘upset’ when he left the family home on September 13, the family lawyer said on Thursday evening, and his father pleaded with him to stay but could not stop him leaving.

Laundrie told his parents Chris and Roberta that he wanted ‘fresh air’, and was going for a hike at a nearby nature reserve.

On Thursday the FBI confirmed that human remains found the Florida swamp belonged to Laundrie, and that he had been there for some time.

The FBI’s Denver office said that a dental comparison on the skeletal remains confirmed they were those of Laundrie, who has been missing from his home in North Port, Florida, since setting out for the hike. 

Steven Bertolino, who has known the family for 25 years, said that Chris and Roberta did not know their son would disappear.

‘What I can tell you is that Brian was very upset when he left,’ he told NBC News Now.

‘And Chris conveyed to me several times that he wished he didn’t let him go but he couldn’t stop him.

‘This has been a painful saga for them since September 13.

‘It’s been a long haul.

‘But Brian was a grown man, a young man, 22 years old; he wanted to walk out the door, he walked out the door.’   

Steve Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, spoke to NBC News Now on Thursday night

Steve Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, spoke to NBC News Now on Thursday night

Bertolino begged those camped outside the house to leave.

‘I would like America to know that Chris and Roberta Laundrie are parents.

‘They have feelings.

‘They have children.

‘One of their children has been confirmed as dead.

‘This is a loss of a loved one.

‘People outside their home – go home, give them a break, please go home.

‘Even for one night. Please and thank you.’   

Laundrie’s parents were informed on Thursday afternoonnthat their son’s body had been found, and North Port police officers were seen arriving at the house to tell them. 

The FBI’s statement said: ‘On October 2021, 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.’    

Bertolino said the family told him. 

‘Chris had called me to let me know that police had come to his house this evening to inform them that the remains were positively identified,’ Bertolino told NBC News Now. 

‘Every parent out there knows that getting the news that your child is no longer with you is sad in any circumstances. 

‘The fact that the Laundries have been subjected to these people outside the front of their house for the last four weeks, and they continue out there today, is just making it more difficult.’

Bertolino said that he was ‘angry’ that there was speculation the Laundrie family planted evidence in the case. 

The human remains found in a Florida reserve in the search for Brian Laundrie were bones, including part of a skull.  

It is unclear how long they have been in the area, but they were found by Chris and Roberta Laundrie on their first day of searching. 

Two officers were seen arriving at the Laundrie house on Thursday afternoon, to inform the family that dental records confirmed that the body of their son had been found

Two officers were seen arriving at the Laundrie house on Thursday afternoon, to inform the family that dental records confirmed that the body of their son had been found

North Port police officers are seen on Thursday afternoon arriving at the Laundrie house to tell Brian Laundrie's parents, Chris and Roberta, that the human remains found the day before did belong to their son

North Port police officers are seen on Thursday afternoon arriving at the Laundrie house to tell Brian Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, that the human remains found the day before did belong to their son

The two North Port police officers are pictured being invited into the Laundrie house by Chris Laundrie

The two North Port police officers are pictured being invited into the Laundrie house by Chris Laundrie

The officers left the Laundrie house a little while later. Chris and Roberta Laundrie have not been seen since

The officers left the Laundrie house a little while later. Chris and Roberta Laundrie have not been seen since

The officers are pictured leaving the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida, on Thursday afternoon

The officers are pictured leaving the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida, on Thursday afternoon

Laundrie vanished on September 13. 

He is the sole person of interest in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito, who was found strangled in a remote part of Wyoming six days after he vanished. She had not been seen alive since August 26, when she was traveling with Laundrie in Utah.  

They made the discovery of the remains along with a backpack and notebook believed to belong to Brian as his parents, Chris and Roberta, joined them in the hunt for the first time.

Bertolino said he did not know how Laundrie died. 

‘I don’t want to speculate,’ he told NBC News Now.

‘I try not to do that. I would hope people would stop doing that as well, especially with respect to this case.

‘And in respect to the cause or how Brian came to be dead I don’t know.

‘We’ll wait, if possible, for some kind of cause of death from the experts.’

He said that the Laundrie family’s decision to finally join the search had an entirely rational explanation.

‘I think the prompt was that the park was finally opened to the public,’ said Bertolino.

‘My understanding is that it was opened either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

‘And Chris and Roberta decided that since it was open they wanted to go and look for Brian by themselves.

‘After speaking with me I told them I wanted to notify law enforcement so we would have no issue.

‘I did text my contact at the North Port Police Department and the response I got was ‘Thank you for the heads up’.’

He said that the police were waiting for the Laundrie family outside the park at 7am to meet them, and accompany them on the search.  

The remains found on Wednesday in the search for Brian Laundrie were bones, law enforcement sources told NewsNation on Thursday

The remains found on Wednesday in the search for Brian Laundrie were bones, law enforcement sources told NewsNation on Thursday  

The remains were found north of the entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek, in the Big Slough Preserve, off an unpaved trail near a bridge where Brian's parents said he liked to visit. It is four miles north of their home in North Port, Florida

The remains were found north of the entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek, in the Big Slough Preserve, off an unpaved trail near a bridge where Brian’s parents said he liked to visit. It is four miles north of their home in North Port, Florida 

Bertolino told NBC host Tom Llamas that he was furious people were speculating that there was something sinister about the body being found on the first day the parents joined the search.

Bertolino lashed out at ‘John Q public’ who refused to believe that the Laundries had nothing to do with their son’s disappearance. 

‘I am a little bit angry that people are even speculating this way,’ Bertolino said.

‘Primarily because it’s not just the Laundries – it’s local police department, it’s the FBI, it was an independent news person who happened to be there filming.

‘And that’s all fortunate that police were there and the film crew were there.’

The search of the park continued on Thursday with cadaver dogs, dune buggies and police cars, but authorities are being tight-lipped on what exactly they have found so far, and what they continue to search for.  

Lee County Sheriff Carmen Marceno held a short press conference on Thursday afternoon but he mostly thanked and praised his law enforcement colleagues for working in ‘treacherous conditions’. 

‘Today I got to see the treacherous conditions they were working under,’ Marceno said. 

‘We’re talking about water levels up to the chest area, rattle snakes, moccasins, alligators.

‘These are very, very difficult conditions. 

‘You’re searching in areas where you can’t just walk up and look. It’s not like you’re searching a house or a car. 

‘These areas are huge and they are covered by water.

‘It is challenging times. I know everybody wants to know exactly what’s going on every second possible. All of America is watching. 

‘But we will never jeopardize an investigation to give that information out until the time is right. I want to reiterate, things change by the second, by the minute,’ he said. 

Bertolino emphasized that the FBI said that the area where Laundrie’s remains were found had been under water for some time. 

‘The FBI put out a statement and he said listen, we had searched the area several weeks ago and it was all under water.

‘There have been numerous people who said it was waist-deep under water.

‘People with first-hand knowledge of the conditions of the park have said that this was under two to three feet of water and yet still John Q public can’t get it in their head that this area was inaccessible, and the items that were located yesterday perhaps couldn’t be seen.

‘We’re not just saying it, I’m not just saying it, the FBI is saying it, everyone is saying it, and yet these platforms are running amok with these ludicrous and, I have to say, nonsensical theories of the parents planting things there.

‘I mean, enough is enough.

‘When does it stop?’

Bertolino said he was angry at speculation that the Laundrie family had planted evidence at the spot where Brian's body was found, and that he had been in contact with the young man while he was on the run

Bertolino said he was angry at speculation that the Laundrie family had planted evidence at the spot where Brian’s body was found, and that he had been in contact with the young man while he was on the run

Bertolino said he was angry at the ‘nonsensical’ theories circulating in the media and on social media.  

‘Just yesterday on Fox News an anchor was accusing me of communicating with Brian on a burner phone, until his solar power ran out and I could no longer communicate,’ he said.

‘That was an anchor.

‘You had pundits on CNN just last night with all kinds of theories.

‘So my anger and my saying when does it stop – when does it stop with all these conjecturists?People who have no first hand knowledge, and specifically with yesterday’s events.

‘You have people with first hand knowledge telling you how this played out, and yet people still don’t believe it.’ 

In another interview on Thursday night, with NewsNationNow, he grew frustrated at repeated questions as to why the remains were only found when the parents began searching.

‘You think the remains were planted?’ he asked, growing increasingly angry.

‘You really think they had the remains of their son in a plastic bag and took it to the reserve?

‘Do you realize how ludicrous that is? How aggravating, how maddening.’ 

Bertolino also spoke to NewsNationNow on Thursday night, and bristled when asked whether it was strange that the remains were found on the same day the parents started searching

Bertolino also spoke to NewsNationNow on Thursday night, and bristled when asked whether it was strange that the remains were found on the same day the parents started searching

Laundrie vanished on September 13, six days before the body of his fiancee Gabby Petito was found in Wyoming. She had been missing since August 26

Laundrie vanished on September 13, six days before the body of his fiancee Gabby Petito was found in Wyoming. She had been missing since August 26 

Bertolino dodged NBC’s question as to whether he regretted not speaking to the police sooner.

North Port police department were reduced to begging him on Twitter to get in touch and assist them.

He said he had not spoken to the FBI or North Port Police or the district attorney since Laundrie’s remains were confirmed, and he wished to speak to them before considering whether he should have done things differently.

‘There are things that need to be done, I would say wrapped up, before we can say whether things should be done differently,’ he said.   

Asked whether Chris and Roberta Laundrie could face charges, the attorney replied: ‘I have no reason to believe that.’ 

When asked whether they cooperated in any way to be granted immunity from prosecution, Bertolino replied:  ‘I can tell you no. There is no truth to that.’

He continued: ‘I can tell you conversations were had several weeks ago with the FBI with respect to certain charges.

‘When questioned, and when communications were had between myself and the FBI, I think it was realized charges were not appropriate.

‘There was never a threat; there was never a coercion, there was never a deal cut. 

‘There are always conversations about how the case may play out.

The Laundries have been cooperating with law enforcement – both locally and federally – from day one with respect to Brian.’ 

Chris and Roberta Laundrie are shown arriving home on Wednesday after human remains, a backpack and a notebook were found in the Florida nature reserve where their son Brian is believed to have been hiding for five weeks. The couple have not spoken to the media or to the family of Gabby Petito, their son's fiancée who was found murdered in Wyoming. The couple arrived home to flowers and cards on Wednesday, but there were also hecklers

Chris and Roberta Laundrie are shown arriving home on Wednesday after human remains, a backpack and a notebook were found in the Florida nature reserve where their son Brian is believed to have been hiding for five weeks. The couple have not spoken to the media or to the family of Gabby Petito, their son’s fiancée who was found murdered in Wyoming. The couple arrived home to flowers and cards on Wednesday, but there were also hecklers 

Sheriffs departments, the North Port Police Department and the FBI are all still at the nature reserve on Thursday

Sheriffs departments, the North Port Police Department and the FBI are all still at the nature reserve on Thursday 

The search of the nature reserve continued on Thursday morning. Authorities held a briefing on Thursday to say they were still working in the reserve but that they had not discovered anything else

The search of the nature reserve continued on Thursday morning. Authorities held a briefing on Thursday to say they were still working in the reserve but that they had not discovered anything else 

There remains a large media presence at the nature reserve on Thursday

There remains a large media presence at the nature reserve on Thursday 

A police officer is pictured walking in the Carlton Reserve with what appears to be the dry bag discovered by Laundrie's father in the preserve. The discovery was made on Wednesday, five weeks after he went on the run following the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito. She was found strangled to death in September in Wyoming

A police officer is pictured walking in the Carlton Reserve with what appears to be the dry bag discovered by Laundrie’s father in the preserve. The discovery was made on Wednesday, five weeks after he went on the run following the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito. She was found strangled to death in September in Wyoming 

Chris and Roberta Laundrie (pictured) alerted investigators on Tuesday night that they intended to search Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park for their son on Wednesday morning. The FBI and North Port Police Department agreed to meet them at the park

The FBI and North Port Police Department have closed the 25,000-acre park, which just reopened to the public on Tuesday after being closed to the public for nearly a month due to the ongoing search for Laundrie

Chris and Roberta Laundrie (pictured) alerted investigators on Tuesday night that they intended to search Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park for their son on Wednesday morning. The FBI and North Port Police Department agreed to meet them at the park

Brian Laundrie, 23, is the sole suspect in the murder of his 22-year-old fiancee Gabby Petito. Her strangled body was found in September, weeks after she was last seen alive. The pair were on a cross-country camper van trip when she vanished and he went home in September

Brian Laundrie, 23, is the sole suspect in the murder of his 22-year-old fiancee Gabby Petito. Her strangled body was found in September, weeks after she was last seen alive. The pair were on a cross-country camper van trip when she vanished and he went home in September 

The remains and backpack were found near a bridge between Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and the Carlton Reserve, just four miles north of Brian Laundrie's home, just a mile or two into the park. The Laundrie parents say they told the police that it's where Brian might have been, but the portion of the land was submerged in water when cops first searched it in September

The remains and backpack were found near a bridge between Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and the Carlton Reserve, just four miles north of Brian Laundrie’s home, just a mile or two into the park. The Laundrie parents say they told the police that it’s where Brian might have been, but the portion of the land was submerged in water when cops first searched it in September 

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno spoke briefly to the media on Thursday to say the search was ongoing

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno spoke briefly to the media on Thursday to say the search was ongoing 

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and North Port Police Department Chied Todd Garrison address the media outside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and North Port Police Department Chied Todd Garrison address the media outside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port

Timeline of Gabby Petito case

  • July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
  • August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
  • Aug. 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’   
  • Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Aug. 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip 
  • Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
  • Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nichole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
  • Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes 
  • Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground; Witnesses say they saw a ‘commotion’ with the couple at Merry Piglets Tex-mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming 
  • Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm
  • Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito’s phone: ‘No service in Yosemite’
  • Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
  • Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
  • Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
  • Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
  • Sept. 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
  • Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Laundrie’s parents claim on September 17 that Laundrie left his parents’ home for a hike this day and they hadn’t seen from him since 
  • Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
  • Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
  • Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
  • Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
  • Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
  • Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve 
  • Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13 
  • Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando 
  • Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie 
  • Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children 
  • Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left 
  • Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14;  
  • Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home 
  • Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did 
  • Oct. 2: A hiker along the Appalachian Trail claims to have seen Laundrie near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina 
  • Oct. 3: Investigators searched the area on the Appalachian trail for any signs that Laundrie had been there  
  • Oct. 4: Laundrie’s sister told protestors outside her home that her family has been ignoring her after they rebuked her story and that she does not know where her brother is
  • Oct 5: Laundrie’s sister appeared on Good Morning America to say she would turn her brother in if she knew where he is;  
  • Oct. 7: Laundrie’s father Christopher joins FBI agents on the search for his son at the Carlton Reserve but the search brings up no clues 
  • Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announces autopsy findings which show Petito died by strangulation; No specific date of death was given – only that she was dead 3-4 weeks before her body was found 
  • Oct. 16: Petito’s parents are seen collecting her ashes from the Valley Mortuary in Jackson, Wyoming
  • October 20: Human remains found in Carlton Reserve 

 

Bertolino said, on Wednesday night, the family knew the remains were likely those of Brian.

‘The probability is strong that it is Brian’s remains, but we’re going to wait for the forensic results to come in and verify that,’ he said.  

Police 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. 

In the interview, Bertolino said the belongings were found near a bridge connecting the the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and the adjoining Carlton Reserve. 

The bridge is about four miles north of the Laundrie family home. 

When asked why the parents had not joined the search at the park earlier, Bertolino pointed out that it had not been open to the public before Tuesday. 

‘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,’ he said.  

Until Tuesday, the reserve had been sealed off to the public while investigators searched for any sign of the fugitive. 

It reopened on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning, Laundrie’s mother and father, Roberta and Chris, joined the search teams in the morning for the first time together. 

Within a few hours, the remains – along with the other items – had been found.  

According to Bertolino, Chris was the one to discover a white plastic dry bag belonging to Laundrie, which he found in the presence of a news reporter about 20 feet off the trail, while police discovered the backpack and human remains nearby. 

‘Chris didn’t want to pick the bag up because he wanted law enforcement to see it,’ Bertolino said. 

‘This was caught on camera. Chris couldn’t find the law enforcement because they were then out of sight, because Chris had been in the woods, so he didn’t want to leave the bag there with the news reporter standing nearby, so he picked it up. 

‘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.

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

The Laundrie parents have been under a cloud of public suspicion since their son disappeared, including wild theories that they were hiding their son in an alleged bunker under their garden, but Bertolino said that the family informed the FBI on the night of September 13 that their son had not returned from a hike that day.

Laundrie’s parents had not spoken publicly or to Petito’s parents about what they may know about her murder, which Bertolino insisted had been on his own legal advice.

‘They know it’s been hard. But ultimately, you know, this is the advice I gave them. This is the advice they’re taking, and that’s on me,’ he said. 

‘I’m the one who told them not to talk. That’s been on me from day one. That’s not on the family.’

The FAA has issued a temporary suspension on flights over the park – that applies to drones and aircraft – until 4pm Friday. 

At a briefing at 4.30pm, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson identified Laundrie as ‘a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito.’

It marked the first time that the FBI has called Petito’s death a murder, rather than a homicide, as well as the first time Laundrie was identified as a person of interest. 

Previously, authorities had been referring to him just as a wanted suspect for theft, for using Petito’s bank card.  

Pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told DailyMail.com that it is likely the FBI already know whether the remains are Laundrie’s, and that they would have been able to confirm it immediately, but are waiting for more examination to determine the cause of death. 

‘Dental is 99.9 percent immediately accurate. They know it’s him. But the cause of death might still take a while to determine. The cause of death has to be determined at autopsy, which probably won’t be performed till tomorrow or the next day,’ he said.

McPherson confirmed that human remains had been found, but he would not speculate on the identity of those remains, nor would he reveal how long they had been there. 

He told reporters at the scene: ‘I know you have a lot of questions but we don’t have all the answers yet.’ 

‘We are working diligently to get those answers for you,’ McPherson said. 

‘It’s likely the team will be on site for several days.’   

The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed it had been summoned to the reserve but would not comment further.  

Authorities have been searching the park for weeks, but the portion where the remains were found on Tuesday was previously underwater, according to NBC.  

Roberta and Chris Laundrie are pictured arriving home from the nature reserve on Wednesday after remains, believed to be those of their son Brian, were found

Roberta and Chris Laundrie are pictured arriving home from the nature reserve on Wednesday after remains, believed to be those of their son Brian, were found

Roberta and Chris Laundrie are pictured arriving home from the nature reserve on Wednesday after remains,  believed to be those of their son Brian, were found 

Outside the couple's home in North Port, Florida, are tributes to Gabby Petito, the murdered fiancee of their son Brian, who is now also believed to be dead

Outside the couple’s home in North Port, Florida, are tributes to Gabby Petito, the murdered fiancee of their son Brian, who is now also believed to be dead

Signs outside the Laundrie family home. The pair have been heckled for weeks for not speaking with law enforcement, the media, or Gabby Petito's family but their attorney says he told them not to, and that they have the right to remain silent

Signs outside the Laundrie family home. The pair have been heckled for weeks for not speaking with law enforcement, the media, or Gabby Petito’s family but their attorney says he told them not to, and that they have the right to remain silent

Tributes to Gabby outside the Laundrie family home on Wednesday. The attorney said on Wednesday night: 'Now is not the time to talk about the Gabby situation'

Tributes to Gabby outside the Laundrie family home on Wednesday. The attorney said on Wednesday night: ‘Now is not the time to talk about the Gabby situation’ 

Hecklers outside the Laundrie family home on Wednesday night after they returned from the search at the nature reserve

Hecklers outside the Laundrie family home on Wednesday night after they returned from the search at the nature reserve

Hecklers outside the Laundrie family home on Wednesday night after they returned from the search at the nature reserve 

The manhunt for Laundrie continued on Wednesday, a day after the park was reopened to the public following months of unsuccessful hunts

The manhunt for Laundrie continued on Wednesday, a day after the park was reopened to the public following months of unsuccessful hunts

The manhunt for Laundrie continued on Wednesday, a day after the park was reopened to the public following weeks of unsuccessful searches for the 23-year-old fugitive 

Petito and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip earlier this summer with a plan to document it all on film for their social media channels. 

But their loved-up Instagram persona was a far cry from the combative relationship that was playing out behind the scenes. 

Just a few weeks before she vanished, police in Moab, Utah, were called to the pair’s van after fellow travelers saw Laundrie hit Petito. 

They were separated for the night, and Petito was deemed to be the aggressor. 

August 26 was the last time anyone saw or heard from Petito. 

Laundrie returned to his parents home on September 1. 

At first, they told officers they last saw him on September 14. 

They later said it was in fact September 13, when he told them he was going on a hike in the reserve and never returned. 

He has been on the run ever since and his parents refused to speak publicly about the case or help Petito’s parents. 

They retrieved her remains from a mortuary in Wyoming last week. 

On Tuesday, a day before the remains were found, Chris and Roberta Laundrie were seen shopping in North Port. 

Among the items they were seen carrying was a cardboard box, which they shipped from a FedEx store in Venice, Florida. 

Later that night, they said they planned to join Wednesday’s search. The pair were photographed on the search on Wednesday by FOX News.  

They were seen walking with an officer, who was overheard saying: ‘I think we might have found something.’ 

The officer then emerged with a bag that contained articles belonging to Laundrie.   

The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is situated on 160 acres of heavily wooded land and connects to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.

Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17 after claiming they last saw him three days prior. His whereabouts have been unknown ever since. 

Federal investigators issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on September 23 for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ last month after alleging he used a Capital One Bank debit card that wasn’t his. 

Until Wednesday, there had been no signs of Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve in Florida, the area his parents cite as the last place he was seen.

Last week, North Port police noted there was ‘nothing to suggest’ whether Laundrie was dead or alive. 

Officials claimed no one had seen him in the reserve and search teams didn’t find any physical evidence of his presence in the area. 

On Tuesday, Chris and Roberta broke cover for a nearly five-hour shopping trip, dodging questions about their son’s whereabouts as they shipped a mysterious package labeled ‘meal kit’.    

The couple emerged from their home in North Port, Florida, at 7.45am Tuesday and climbed into their red Dodge Ram truck for the trip.

After making a few stops, DailyMail.com spotted them at a FedEx store where Chris went inside carrying a parcel with the intriguing words ‘meal kit’ stamped on one end. The addressee could not be seen.

They refused to answer DailyMail.com’s questions when asked ‘is he in the park, did you help him get there?’  

Bertolino issued a statement attempting to express sympathy to Petito’s family on Thursday after her cause of death was revealed. 

‘Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,’ he said. 

‘While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise.

‘At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.’

At a briefing at 4.30pm, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson confirmed that human remains had been found, but he would not speculate on the identity of those remains, nor would he reveal how long they had been there

A crowd of spectators listen in on a press conference held by Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Field Office Michael McPherson, left, at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park October 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida

A crowd of spectators listen in on a press conference held by Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Field Office Michael McPherson, left, at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park October 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida

North Port cops block the entrance to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Wednesday after items belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found in a Florida wilderness park during a search for clues

North Port cops block the entrance to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Wednesday after items belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found in a Florida wilderness park during a search for clues

The sprawling park connected to the 25,000 acre Carlton Reserve was locked down following the grim discovery

The sprawling park connected to the 25,000 acre Carlton Reserve was locked down following the grim discovery

A coroners van leaves the reserve in North Port where the FBI have been looking for Brian Laundrie. The FBI didn't confirm that the remains found today are Brian's, but they were found along with items belonging to the fugitive suspect

A coroners van leaves the reserve in North Port where the FBI have been looking for Brian Laundrie. The FBI didn’t confirm that the remains found today are Brian’s, but they were found along with items belonging to the fugitive suspect

DailyMail.com spotted Brian Laundrie's parents on a five-hour shopping trip Tuesday morning

DailyMail.com spotted Brian Laundrie’s parents on a five-hour shopping trip Tuesday morning

After making a few stops, DailyMail.com spotted them stop at a FedEx store where Christopher went inside carrying a parcel with the intriguing words 'meal kit' stamped on one end

After making a few stops, DailyMail.com spotted them stop at a FedEx store where Christopher went inside carrying a parcel with the intriguing words ‘meal kit’ stamped on one end

They also refused to answer DailyMail.com's inquiries of 'is he in the park, did you help him get there?' in reference to the massive swampland search for survivalist Brian, 23, that started nearly five weeks ago at the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near North Port

They also refused to answer DailyMail.com’s inquiries of ‘is he in the park, did you help him get there?’ in reference to the massive swampland search for survivalist Brian, 23, that started nearly five weeks ago at the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near North Port

Chris and Roberta have been widely criticized for refusing to publicly speak about the case

Chris and Roberta have been widely criticized for refusing to publicly speak about the case

Chris and Roberta have been widely criticized for refusing to publicly speak about the case 

Gabby's father Joseph Petito clutches the ashes of his murdered daughter, whose remains were  found at a nearby campsite on September 19

Gabby’s father Joseph Petito clutches the ashes of his murdered daughter, whose remains were  found at a nearby campsite on September 19

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito are shown on August 12 after being pulled over by police in their van. The cops had received reports of a fight between the pair. Witnesses said they saw Laundrie hit Petito. She was however deemed to be the aggressor in the argument, and the pair were separated for the night

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito are shown on August 12 after being pulled over by police in their van. The cops had received reports of a fight between the pair. Witnesses said they saw Laundrie hit Petito. She was however deemed to be the aggressor in the argument, and the pair were separated for the night

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito are shown on August 12 after being pulled over by police in their van. The cops had received reports of a fight between the pair. Witnesses said they saw Laundrie hit Petito. She was however deemed to be the aggressor in the argument, and the pair were separated for the night 

Petito’s mother texted a reported a curt, blunt response.

‘His words are garbage. Keep talking,’ she wrote to a reporter from WFLA in Florida. 

Petito’s family said earlier this week that they wanted him to spend the rest of his life in a jail cell. 

She was fiercely critical of Roberta and Chris Laundrie for not helping them. 

‘Silence speaks volumes. I believe they know most of the information,’ she said. 

‘I would love to just face to face ask: ‘Why are you doing this? Just tell me the truth.’ 

‘He’s a coward. I don’t want to say he’s insane because he went home, he’s hiding, he used her credit card. That’s not somebody who’s gone crazy. 

‘He knows what he is doing, he knew what he was doing. I just want to get him in a cell for the rest of his life.’   

Jim, her husband, added: ‘We want vengeance. And justice.’  



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