ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The FBI on Thursday 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 remains, a backpack and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie were discovered 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 in a news release that a comparison of dental records confirmed that the remains were Laundrie.
The discovery of the remains concluded a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie disappeared Sept. 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.
Petito’s family reported her missing Sept. 11, launching a search that garnered worldwide media attention and focused largely on the Carlton Reserve wilderness park near the Laundrie home. It is a densely wooded, swampy area that’s home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and numerous other creatures.
The intense focus on Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of color.
The body of Petito, 22, was found Sept. 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.
Autopsy of Brian Laundrie: No cause, manner of death able to be determined
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.
‘Basically the case is closed out’: Former FBI agent discusses what finding of Brian Laundrie’s remains means moving forward
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).
1 killed, 1 injured after Alec Baldwin discharges prop gun in freak misfire incident on movie set: Sheriff’s Office
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.