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Investigators find apparent human remains in Brian Laundrie search

Investigators find apparent human remains in Brian Laundrie search
Brian Laundrie (L) is a person of interest in the death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. File Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter

Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items Wednesday in a North Port, Fla., park in their search for Brian Laundrie, the FBI announced.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said that in addition to possible human remains, searchers found a backpack and notebook that belonged to Brian Laundrie. He said at least some of the items had "until recently been underwater."

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McPherson made the announcement in a press conference but declined to take questions.

"We are working diligently to get those answers for you," he said.

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The announcement came after representatives from the Sarasota County Medical Examiner's Office were called to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, the last place Brian Laundrie's family said they remember seeing the 23-year-old.

Chris Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie informed law enforcement officials on Tuesday that they planned to search the park. North Port police officers and FBI agents met them at the park Wednesday morning to assist in the search of trails Brian Laundrie was known to frequent.

Steven Berolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, told WTVT-TV in Tampa Bay, Fla., that "some articles belonging to Brian were found" at the park.

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Brian Laundrie's parents reported him missing Sept. 13, less than two weeks after he returned home from a road trip out West without his fiancée, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, 22. Searchers found Petito's body Sept. 19 at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and determined she died of strangulation.

Investigators have sought Brian Laundrie as a person of interest in Petito's death and on federal charges of using someone else's credit card. They focused their search efforts on a wildlife preserve in Florida as well as the Myakkahatchee park, which is where Brian Laundrie's parents said they last remembered seeing him.

The Myakkahatchee had been closed to the public until Tuesday amid search efforts, WFLA-TV in Tampa Bay reported.

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In addition to the medical examiner, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said a cadaver dog and two spotters were sent to the park after the discovery Wednesday, according to CNN.

Petito's parents reported her missing Sept. 11 amid her road trip with Brian Laundrie. Her family said they last heard from her in late August. Petito had been living with Laundrie and his parents in North Port, Fla., when they set out on the trip. Authorities said Petito was not with Laundrie when he returned to their Florida home Sept. 1.

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