A massive search for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of slain 22-year-old travel blogger Gabby Petito, took a dramatic twist Thursday with the announcement that human remains found in a Florida nature preserve are those of the wanted fugitive, according to the FBI.
The remains were recovered Wednesday, nearly five weeks after Petito's body was recovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. The Teton County Coroner ruled her death a homicide by strangulation.
The search for the 23-year-old Laundrie was centered around North Port, Florida, where investigators said he returned to his home on Sept. 1 without Petito but driving her 2012 Ford Transit.
Laundrie had been named by police as a "person of interest" in Petito's disappearance and a federal warrant had been issued for him alleging unauthorized use of Petito's credit card.
He refused to speak to the police and vanished on Sept. 13. His parents told investigators they believed he was headed to the Carlton Reserve in North Port.
The case grabbed national attention as Laundrie and Petito had been traveling across the country since June, documenting the trip on social media. Petito's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her for two weeks.
Here is how the weekslong search for Laundrie unfolded:
- Police find apparent human remains, personal items belonging to Laundrie
- Cadaver dog team called to scene
- Brian Laundrie's father joins police in search for son: Attorney
- Brian Laundrie left parents’ home to hike day earlier than parents originally told investigators
- Second Moab Police body camera footage shows Gabby Petito claim Brian Laundrie grabbed her face
- FBI ends search at Laundrie residence
- Car Brian Laundrie last used was parked in parents' driveway: Authorities