The remains of the man at the center of a massive manhunt in connection to the homicide of Gabby Petito have been identified.
On Oct. 20, police found remains near items belonging to Brian Laundrie in a Florida park. On Oct. 21, FBI investigators confirmed the remains are Laundrie.
The remains were identified via dental records, according to federal offiicials.
The announcement closes the hunt for Laundrie, who was named as a person of interest in connection to Petito’s homicide. He went missing shortly after being named a person of interest in the case. There was also an active arrest warrant for him, but those charges were related to allegedly using Petito’s debit card after her death.
Laundrie and his girlfriend, Petito, left Florida over the summer for a cross-country trip. They posted various photos and videos of their travels on social media.
But Laundrie returned to Florida in September without Petito. It was about 10 days later that Petito’s family reported her missing. The case became a national phenomenon as police hunted for Petito and internet sleuths tried to solve her disappearance.
As police investigated, more information came to light about their trip and relationship. The couple’s seemingly happy trip had rocky moments. Police in Utah spoke to the couple after an alleged domestic disturbance. Officers wrote in a report they believed the issue was more a mental health crisis than a domestic violence crime. Officers said they believed Petito was having a “severe case of anxiety” in that incident. Body camera footage of a crying Petito in the backseat of a police car ran on a loop across televisions.
During the trip, Petito sent a strange text message to her family. Then stopped communication, which they said wasn’t normal. That is when they reported her situation to the authorities.
On Sept. 19, police announced they found Petito’s remains in a national park in Wyoming. Her death was classified as a homicide and the cause was strangulation.
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