Attorney Says 'Probability Is Strong' Remains Recovered from Fla. Park Belong to Brian Laundrie

Steven Bertolino said the fugitive's parents are "heartbroken" by the possibility

Brian Laundrie
Brian Laundrie. Photo: Instagram

In an interview that aired on CNN, the lawyer for Brian Laundrie's family said the human remains recovered Wednesday from a Florida park are likely those of the missing man.

Steven Bertolino is the attorney retained by the Laundrie family after Brian returned to their North Port, Fla., home on Sept. 1 without his fiancée, Gabby Petito.

"The probability is strong," Bertolino said to CNN, "that it is Brian's remains."

Bertolino's comments followed Wednesday's development that human remains, along with a backpack and notebook belonging to the 23-year-old fugitive, were discovered in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

The area in which the FBI found the remains had previously been underwater, authorities said.

"It's quite sad," Bertolino explained. "You can imagine, as a parent, finding your son's belongings alongside some remains. That's got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken."

Prior to the discovery of the remains, the Sarasota County medical examiner's office and a cadaver dog were sent to the park after several items belonging to him were found there on Wednesday.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito. Gabby Petito Instagram

Laundrie's parents had searched the park with officials from the FBI and the North Port, Fla., police, Bertolino said.

Laundrie has been the subject of a prolonged search after Petito's death; her body was found in Wyoming in September.

Authorities have said Petito died by strangulation, labeling her death a homicide. Laundrie has been named a person of interest in Petito's case.

Laundrie was allegedly last seen on Sept. 13, when he left his parents' North Port, Fla. home, saying he was going on a hike at nearby Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature preserve consisting primarily of swampy wetlands.

Carlton Reserve is close to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

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Laundrie remains a fugitive from the law. A warrant for his arrest was issued in late September, accusing Laundrie of unauthorized use of a debit card. His family's attorney has said his parents have no idea where he is.

Petito — a Long Island, N.Y., native — and Laundrie had embarked on a cross-country journey in July, traveling from Florida to New York in her white Ford van, then heading west. Petito documented their adventures on her YouTube channel and planned to start a blog about their new, so-called "vandwelling" lifestyle.

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