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FBI finds human remains not intact, items belonging to Brian Laundrie at swampy area that was completely underwater at Florida’s Carlton Reserve park



Photo: New York Post

Unidentified human remains and items belonging to Brian Laundrie, including a backpack, have been found in the Carlton Reserve in North Port, Florida, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.

Another one of the items found was a notebook belonging to Laundrie, who McPherson said was “a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito.”

The apparent remains were found in an area that has been under water until recently, he said.

A source close to the investigation told CNN that the human remains “appear to have been there a while.”

The source said “based on the condition of the remains, it may take some time to officially identify. It is going to be a very thorough process with the medical examiner.”

North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor said the remains were found “about 2 to 3 miles inside the Carlton Reserve, or about a 45-minute walk” from the entrance at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

Family attorney Steve Bertolino told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the Laundrie parents — making their first visit to the park since its reopening — helped with the discovery. “As happenstance was, they stumbled upon these items,” he said.

The area where the discovery of remains was made was the “very area of the park that we initially informed law enforcement on,” Bertolino said, referring to a meeting with law enforcement on September 17.

Laundrie’s parents had informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department on Tuesday night that they intended to come to the park on Wednesday morning to search for him, Bertolino said. Law enforcement met them there Wednesday morning, he said.

The parents walked the trail followed closely by law enforcement personnel, “certainly within eye shot,” the attorney said.

“As they went further in, Chris ventured off the trail into the woods. He was zigzagging in different areas, law enforcement was doing the same thing. And Roberta Laundrie was walking down the trail,” Bertolino said. “At some point, Chris locates what’s called a dry bag. The dry bag is a white bag, laying in the woods, say 20 feet or so off the trail.”

Bertolino said, according to Chris Laundrie, the dry bag was in some brambles and he didn’t want to pick up the bag, because he wanted his law enforcement to see it. However, Bertolino said Laundrie “couldn’t find the law enforcement,” because they were then out of sight and didn’t want to leave the bag there with a news reporter standing nearby, so he picked it up.

“He did meet up shortly with law enforcement, they looked at the contents of the bag. At that time, law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail,” Bertolino told CNN.

“At that point, the Laundries were notified there was also remains near the backpack, and they were asked to leave the preserve.”

Bertolino called the suggestion that Chris Laundrie had planted the dry bag “hogwash.”

The attorney said the family was heartbroken by the discoveries today.

FBI processing scene

The FBI Tampa’s Evidence Response Team is on the scene using “all available forensic resources” to process the area. According to McPherson, it’s likely the team will be on the scene for several days.

“I know you have a lot of questions, but we don’t have all the answers yet,” he said reading a statement for the media.

The discovery comes 37 days after Laundrie, the fiancé of Petito, was reportedly last seen by his parents.

Earlier, the Sarasota County medical examiner and a cadaver dog were called to the park and aerial footage showed activity in the Carlton Reserve near the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park where Laundrie’s car was found parked in September.

The Sarasota County Medical Examiner was called to the scene, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s office said a cadaver dog and two spotters were also on site. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were also now on scene along with a mobile unit.

The discovery comes amid an exhaustive search for Laundrie that has now stretched over a month and as authorities try to piece together what happened to Petito.

The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is on 160 acres of heavily wooded land in North Port, with trails and a camping area. The park connects to the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature reserve that has been the primary search location for investigators.

Searchers had previously used swamp buggies, divers and airboats to scour the swampy terrain, but the area has dried out recently due to clearer weather.

How we got here

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, traveled around the western US in a white van this summer, all while regularly posting photos and stories to their social media pages. Those posts abruptly stopped in late August, though, and Laundrie then returned by himself to their home in North Point, where they lived with his parents, on September 1.

Petito’s family, unable to get in contact with her, reported her missing 10 days later, launching a national search. Laundrie declined to cooperate with the investigation into her whereabouts, and soon after, he also went missing. His family told investigators they believed he had gone to a sprawling nature reserve nearby.

Petito’s remains were found in a national forest in Wyoming on September 19 near where the couple had last been seen together. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruled her death a homicide and said that she died by manual strangulation.

“We believe this was strangling by a human being,” Blue told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

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Autopsy of Brian Laundrie: No cause, manner of death able to be determined



Photos: Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla.  The attorney for Brian Laundrie’s parents says an autopsy on their son’s remains, which were described as “bones” by North Port police, did not reveal a cause or manner of his death. 

Laundrie’s autopsy was completed Friday and his remains was sent to an anthropologist for further examination, according to reporting from FOX 5’s Jodi Goldberg.

The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, said they were hoping for more answers from law enforcement regarding the cause of death for Brian, who was a person of interest in the death of fiancée Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip.

Read more from Fox Tampa Bay.

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‘Basically the case is closed out’: Former FBI agent discusses what finding of Brian Laundrie’s remains means moving forward



Photo: New York Post

With Brian Laundrie’s remains found, a former FBI agent told ABC West Palm Beach (WPBF 25) that in cases where a person of interest is found dead, there will be limited information people will see moving forward.

But in this case, they still have the responsibility to name who killed Gabby Petito.

“Basically the case is closed out, there are still some housekeeping issues to be addressed, it’s important for them to identify the cause of death and even more importantly the time of death,” said Stuart Kaplan, former FBI special agent turned attorney.

Read more from ABC West Palm Beach (WPBF 25).

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1 killed, 1 injured after Alec Baldwin discharges prop gun in freak misfire incident on movie set: Sheriff’s Office



Photo: New York Post

A female cinematographer working on the set of an upcoming western, ‘Rust’, died after lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun. The film’s director was also harmed in the shooting and is in intensive care.

The incident took place around 1:50pm local time on Thursday. Halyna Hutchins, 42, and ‘Rust’ director Joel Souza, 48, were rushed to the hospital from the set on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a film location in northern New Mexico.

Hutchins, who was director of photography, has since succumbed to her wounds, while Souza “is undergoing treatment for his injuries,” the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said.

An investigation has been launched over the “projectile” with which the female victim was shot. “It appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the department said in a statement.

In an update on Thursday, it said that “the investigation remains open and active,” noting that “no charges have been filed in regard to this incident” as the witnesses are being questioned.

Baldwin was seen looking visibly distraught at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting.

The actor has reportedly been interviewed by investigators. 

Deadline reported earlier that the incident occurred during a rehearsal, and that “a principal cast member… cocked a gun… unaware there were live rounds in it.”

A production spokesman confirmed to Deadline that the incident involved “the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” insisting that “the safety” of the cast was a “top priority.” The movie town was put on lockdown in wake of the incident.

‘Rust’ is directed by Souza and produced by Baldwin, who also stars as one of the film’s main characters, Harland Rust. Rust is an outlaw and estranged grandfather of a 13-year-old boy, Lucas, played by Brady Noon, who faces hanging after accidentally killing a local rancher. After Harland frees Lucas from custody, the two flee while being chased by a marshal and a bounty hunter.

The on-set mishap is not the first of its kind. While filming for ‘The Crow’ in 1993, Brandon Lee – the son of Bruce Lee – was shot and killed by an improperly loaded prop gun.

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