What comes next in Brian Laundrie death investigation

What’s next now that the remains of Brian Laundrie have been found in the Carlton Reserve?

The FBI confirmed Laundrie’s identity through dental records. Medical examiners will now work to determine how and when he died. Further questions still remain: How long had the body been out there? What did Chris and Roberta Laundrie know throughout the last month?

The heartbreaking story that began in North Port and stretched across the country has come to an end right where it began. Neighbors in North Port cannot fathom that on the first day the Laundries volunteered to aid the search for their son, they found the items that led right to his remains.

Steve Bertolino, Brian Laundrie’s attorney,  released a statement to WINK News Thursday afternoon confirming that the remains were Laundrie’s.

“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s,” Bertolino wrote. “We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundries’ privacy at this time.”

Chris Laundrie was seen opening the door of his home as two North Port police officers entered to tell the parents that the remains belonged to his son.

Richard Stafford, attorney for the Petito family, says the family is not doing interviews or making a statement yet: “They are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter. Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready.”

Jill Hengel, Gabby Petito’s great aunt, remains skeptical of the whole situation.

“As yesterday came about, it really pissed me off, yes,” Hengel said. “I am just floored by all of a sudden, within 24 hours after the public was allowed back in, that they found that stuff. I’m sorry, I don’t believe it.”

With Laundrie dead, we may never know what happened out in Utah and Wyoming between Petito and Laundrie, once engaged to be married, or what could have led to the murder of Gabby Petito.

“[I’m] not numb… but more angry,” Hengel said. “Because, to me, it didn’t have to be this way. It didn’t have to end up this way. And I’m angry at… when I heard it on the TV yesterday, I got very angry.”

Reports from Myakkahatchee Environmental Park Thursday night suggested that a lot of law enforcement has left the park, including the mobile command center, but that part of the park is still closed off to the public.

Reporter:Michael Hudak
Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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