Remains found in Florida reserve confirmed as Gabby Petito’s boyfriend

(AP) - The FBI has identified human remains found in a Florida nature reserve as those of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of his girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple were on a cross-country road trip.

The remains, a backpack and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie were discovered on Wednesday in a Florida wilderness park, according to the FBI.

The area where they were found had been under water during earlier searches.

The FBI’s Denver office said that a comparison of dental records were a match to Laundrie.

FILE - This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by the Moab, Utah, Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park in Utah. The FBI on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip. (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)
FILE - This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by the Moab, Utah, Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park in Utah. The FBI on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip. (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)

The discovery of the remains concluded a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie disappeared on September 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.

Ms Petito’s family reported her missing on September 11, launching a search that garnered worldwide media attention and focused largely on the Carlton Reserve wilderness park near the Laundries’ home.

It is a densely wooded, swampy area that is home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and numerous other creatures.

FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend, The FBI on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip. (The Moab Police Department via AP)
FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend, The FBI on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip. (The Moab Police Department via AP)

The intense focus on Ms Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing indigenous women and other people of colour.

The body of Ms Petitio, 22, was found on September 19 on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited.

The coroner there concluded she died of strangulation and her body had been where it was found for three or four weeks.