(Trends Wide) — More than a month ago Brian Laundrie disappeared after returning without his fiancée, Gabby Petito, from a trip across the country.
On October 21, the FBI confirms that Brian Laundrie is dead and his remains are those found on the Carlton Reservation.
The case has seen constant updates that have left authorities and the public confused as to the timeline and the reasons behind the long search for Laundrie. His parents have also not made many comments about the case.
Laundrie’s family attorney, Steven Bertolino, previously said Laundrie’s parents had been “staying in the background” and would not comment on the attorney’s advice. Bertolino said the Laundries didn’t know where their son was and not that they hadn’t heard from him since he left their Florida home in mid-September.
Laundrie has not been charged in the death of Petito, whose body was found in Wyoming. He was accused of using two financial accounts that did not belong to him in the days after Petito’s death.
Today, the search for Laundrie is over, and here’s a timeline of what we know about Laundrie:
June 2021: Laundrie embarks on a cross-country road trip with Petito
Laundrie and Petito planned a cross-country trip to tour the West Coast in Petito’s white Ford van. Along the way, the couple would visit state and national parks in the western United States.
Petito documented her journey this summer on social media, posting photos of herself smiling at Kansas’ Monument Rocks, posing on Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes and enjoying views of Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park.
August 12: Laundrie and Petito meet with the Utah Police
Things took a turn in August when police in Moab, Utah, found the couple “involved in some sort of altercation.”
According to Agent Eric Pratt’s report, the two got into a physical fight after an argument. There were reports and 911 calls from witnesses describing a man (Laundrie) allegedly hitting a woman (Petito).
Pratt’s body camera footage showed Petito telling him that although Laundrie had hit her, she hit him first.
“Both the man and woman reported that they are in love and engaged to be married and did not desperately want anyone to be charged with a crime,” Pratt’s report finally read.
At the agents’ suggestion, the couple split up for the night, according to the report, which describes Petito as “confused and emotional.”
“After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation has escalated to the level of a domestic assault but rather a mental health crisis,” Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in his report. No charges filed.
August 17-23: Laundrie flies from Utah to Florida and back
Laundrie flew to Tampa, Florida, from Salt Lake City and met Petito six days later in Utah, according to Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney.
Laundrie “flew home to get a few items and empty out and lock down the storage unit to save money while they contemplated extending the road trip,” Bertolino told Trends Wide.
August 27: Laundrie and Petito are seen at a restaurant in Wyoming
Petito and Laundrie were seen again in Jackson, Wyoming, where a couple said they saw Petito and Laundrie getting into a “riot” as they left The Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant.
At the end of August, Petito stopped posting regularly on social media.
Driving Petito’s van, Laundrie returned to the home he and Petito shared with their parents in North Port, Florida. Petito was not with him.
September 6-8: The Laundrie family goes camping
The Laundrie family goes to a campsite about 120 kilometers from their home.
Roberta Laundrie, the mother of Brian Laundrie, checked into a waterfront spot at the Fort De Soto campground from Sept. 6-8, according to a Pinellas County Parks campground check-in report provided to Trends Wide.
The Laundries were at the campground from September 6-7 and left together, Bertolino later told Trends Wide.
September 11: Petito is reported missing
Petito’s family reported the young woman missing on September 11, weeks after calls to her mother and frequent social media posts ceased.
From then on, things get even more confusing.
September 13 or 14: Laundrie disappears
At the time, Petito’s body had not been found, and the police were publicly asking Laundrie and her parents to speak to them about what they knew.
Laundrie had availed himself of his Fifth Amendment rights, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison told Trends Wide’s Don Lemon. It generally means that a person cannot be forced to make statements that they believe may be negative or used against them.
Laundrie’s parents initially told North Port Police that they had not seen their son since Sept. 14, but did not contact authorities about it for three days.
Parents told police Laundrie left home with his backpack, and a source close to Laundrie’s family told Trends Wide’s Chris Cuomo that Laundrie left home without his cell phone and wallet.
Laundrie’s parents also told police she was going to the nearby Carlton Reservation, a 25,000-acre nature reserve near the family home that has waist-deep water, snakes and alligators.
The September 14 disappearance was followed by local and federal authorities during the more than three weeks they searched for Laundrie on the reservation.
Laundrie’s family said then, in October, that he had left their home on September 13, a day earlier than previously reported.
Bertolino told Trends Wide that Brian Laundrie’s father, Chris Laundrie, went looking for Brian on the night of September 13 after his son did not return from the park.
The next day, Sept. 14, Brian’s parents returned to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park area to look for him and found his Ford Mustang with an abandoned vehicle notice, Bertolino said. The North Port Police Department confirmed that the citation had been placed on the car.
The parents returned the next day, September 15, to retrieve the vehicle.
September 19: Petito’s remains are found in Wyoming
Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Teton County Coroner confirmed the remains to be Petito’s two days later, on September 21.
September 23: Federal indictment against Laundrie
The FBI announced on September 23 that the Wyoming District Court had issued a federal arrest warrant for him. Laundrie has been accused of using two financial accounts that did not belong to him between August 30 and September 1.
The indictment says he used these accounts to collect more than $1,000 worth of commerce after Petito’s death that affected interstate commerce. Laundrie did so “knowingly and with intent to defraud,” according to the indictment.
Oct 20 – They find what appear to be human remains and some items belonging to Laundrie
Investigators found what appear to be human remains, along with personal items including a backpack and notebook, belonging to Brian Laundrie, according to FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.
“I know you have a lot of questions, but we don’t have all the answers yet,” added the special agent in charge.
The Tampa FBI Evidence Response Team is on the scene using “all available forensic resources” to process the area. According to McPherson, the team is likely to be on the scene for several days.
The Laundrie family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, told Trends Wide’s Chris Cuomo that “the probability is high that it is Brian’s remains” found by the FBI.
“It’s quite sad, can you imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belongings next to the remains. That has to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you they are heartbroken,” he said Wednesday.
October 21: The FBI confirms that the human remains are those of Brian Laundrie
The FBI office in Denver said the remains found in the Florida nature preserve are those of Brian Laundrie.
The FBI said dental records confirmed the identification.
The identification came hours after police in North Port, Florida said the remains found belonged to a human.
Brian Laundrie’s parents were informed that remains found yesterday belonged to their son, Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, told Trends Wide.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday on the reservation are in fact Brian’s. We have no further comment at this time and ask that you respect Laundrie’s privacy at this time,” Bertolino said.
January 21, 2022
The FBI reported that, before taking his own life, Laundrie wrote in a notebook that he was responsible for Petito’s death.
“A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie in which he takes responsibility for the death of Ms. Petito,” the FBI’s Denver Field Office said in a statement released Friday, Jan. 21.
The notebook was discovered in October, in the same area as Laundrie’s remains.
Trends Wide’s Christina Maxouris, Leyla Santiago, Sara Weisfeldt, Rebekah Riess and Andy Rose contributed to this report.