‘I can confirm that the remains were being sent to an anthropologist for further evaluation,’ Steve Bertolino, the Laundrie family lawyer, told DailyMail.com.
Laundrie’s remains were found on Wednesday in the T Mabry Carlton Jr Memorial Reserve.
The 23-year-old was last seen on September 13, his parents said, when he left to go for a hike.
Laundrie was the sole ‘person of interest’ in the murder of his fiancee, Gabby Petito, who was found dead in Wyoming.
The pair had been on a road trip and documenting their travels on social media.
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
An extensive manhunt was staged for four weeks, with a particular focus on the Carlton Reserve because Laundrie’s Ford Mustang was parked at the park, and he was known to go hiking there.
But the search was incredibly difficult due to the swampy conditions, with the park full of alligators and snakes, and much of it underwater.
Laundrie’s remains – said to include part of a skull – were found in an area of the swamp which until recently were under several feet of water.
It had been expected that pinpointing his cause of death would be complicated, because the body had reportedly lain in the water for some time.
‘Forensic anthropologists are called upon when the environment has ravaged or removed the soft tissue,’ said Dr Heather Walsh-Haney, speaking to WPBF News.
‘Soft tissue markers that the forensic pathologist would use.’
A forensic anthropologist was also required to determine how Petito died. Her body was found on September 19, and the autopsy results were announced on October 12.
Bertolino said on Thursday night that 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.’
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.
Brian Laundrie, 23, was 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 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
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.
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
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
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
Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s parents, joined the search for their son on Wednesday – and on their first day searching, his body was found.
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.
Social media speculation was rampant that Chris and Roberta – who initially refused to cooperate with police, referring them instead to their lawyer – had somehow planted evidence.
The case has gripped America, and many following the case thought it was strange that the four week hunt, with all the resources of the U.S. government agencies, should only be successful on the day the family begun assisting.
But Bertolino has angrily denied any suggestion that the Laundries were involved in an elaborate plot, and said they decided to get involved on Wednesday because the park had just reopened.
The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is situated on 160 acres of heavily wooded land and connects to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.
‘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 on Wednesday to meet them, and accompany them on the search.
Bertolino told NBC host Tom Llamas on Thursday evening 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.’
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?’
Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17 after claiming they last saw him three days prior.
Bertolino said they last saw him four days prior, on September 13.
Laundrie’s 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.
Reality tv star Dog the Bounty Hunter joined in the search, adding to the media circus, and claimed that he had received hundreds of tips from people claiming to have seen Laundrie 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.
Laundrie’s sister Cassie then began giving media interviews, saying her parents had kept her in the dark and pleading with them to tell investigators what they knew.