BRIAN Laundrie’s notebook found next to human remains at a Florida nature reserve yesterday may reveal the truth about what happened between him and his slain fiancée Gabby Petito on their ill-fated trip, an ex-prosecutor says.
The notebook and remains were found by police next to a backpack belonging to Laundrie at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, near the Calton Reserve, yesterday during a brief search with the missing 23-year-old’s parents.
A notebook of Brians was found next to a body[/caption]
A white tent is seen where the remains are believed to have been found[/caption]
Brian’s dad, Chris Laundrie, found a white plastic bag containing some of his son’s items in a patch of bushes next to a trail before police later found the backpack, notepad, and remains, the family’s lawyer Steve Bertolino said.
The remains have not yet been identified but Bertolino said there’s a “strong probability” they belong to Brian.
Neama Rahmani, a former assistant U.S. Attorney and the current president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told The Sun the notebook and bag will be “crucial evidence” in helping to solve Gabby’s murder.
“Law enforcement found a backpack and notebook, that’s key evidence. It’s certainly likely that those human remains they found belong to Brian Laundrie, unless he was trying to plant evidence next to someone else’s remains to throw law enforcement off his tracks,” Rahmani said.
“If it’s Brian Laundrie’s remains, one of two things happened: He was either killed by an animal or a person or he killed himself.
“If he killed himself, it’s much more likely that he wrote something in the notebook about Gabby.”
He added: “That’s what people who kill themselves often do, they open up about everything so their family and friends know what they had been dealing with before their death.”
‘ALL SIGNS POINT TO BRIAN’
For Gabby’s family, however, the event of Brian’s death would do little to give them closure, Rahmani continued.
“Unfortunately, if Brian Laundrie has died it would make it more difficult to get to the bottom of this case. But there’s no question that Gabby was killed and by far the most reasonable explanation is that Brian Laundrie did it,” he said.
“All signs point to Brian Laundrie. I’m sure Gabby Petito’s family wants some sort of closure, but if Brian Laundrie is dead, this is as good as it’s going to get.
“Law enforcement could hold a press conference to say they believe Brian Laundrie killed Gabby Petito and at that point, they should disclose all the information they withheld until now.
“That’s really the extent of their obligation, law enforcement will have to move on to other cases.”
Wednesday’s discovery marked the first significant update in the hunt for Laundrie for several weeks, following a series of month-long, fruitless searches in Florida and beyond.
The condition of the remains and items found remains unclear.
They had been found in an area that, until recently, had been submerged in floodwaters caused by hurricanes last month.
Brian has been on the run since September 13, two days after Gabby Petito was reported missing by her mother in New York.
Her remains were discovered at a campsite in Teton County, Wyoming on September 19.
A coroner later ruled that she had been strangled to death by a “human force” and that she’d been killed between three to four weeks before she was found.
The pair had been on a cross-country road trip touring the US’ national parks at the time of Gabby’s death.
Brian has not been named as a suspect but is the only named person of interest in the case.
He returned home to Florida without her on September 1 in the couple’s repurposed van before disappearing himself 12 days later.
Brian’s parents initially claimed to have last seen him on September 14 but later revised that date in a statement issued through their attorney.
After finally reporting him missing on September 17, they told police they had driven to the reserve in search of him.
While they say they didn’t find Brian, they did find his silver Ford Mustang and drove it back to their home before contacting the cops the next day.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie are not currently facing any charges in relation to the case.
An investigation continues.
Gabby was murdered during the couple’s road trip[/caption]
Brian returned home to Florida without her on September 1 in the couple’s repurposed van before disappearing himself 12 days later[/caption]
The notebook and bag were found near human remains[/caption]
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito's disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah’s Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed “more and more tension” between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what’s believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple’s van “abandoned” on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby’s parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian’s family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida’s North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian’s parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby’s but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie’s home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain “evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed.”
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby’s. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner’s office said Gabby’s official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby’s funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
- October 12: Gabby’s autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
- October 20: Laundrie’s personal items were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. A medical examiner was called to the scene.
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Source: The Sun
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