The FBI said the body found at a Florida nature preserve is Brian Laundrie. The 23-year-old vanished on Sept. 14 after the death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. Dog the Bounty Hunter said Friday that he hopes Petito’s family can begin to grieve now that the search for Laundrie is over.
The discovery ends a month-long national obsession with finding Brian Laundrie. Dog the Bounty Hunter spent several weeks in Florida looking for him.
“The positive ID of Brian Laundrie’s remains gives some measure of closure to this case, if not to Gabby’s family who will likely now never know what truly happened,” Dog the Bounty Hunter said in a statement to Newsweek. “We are praying for Gabby’s family. As a parent who has also lost a child, I know there’s no ending to this story that brings Gabby back. But now the family can begin the process of grieving. Our thoughts are with them.”
Dog the Bounty Hunter’s daughter Kathy died in a 2006 car crash, The Sun said. She was 23.
The FBI discovered the remains earlier this week at Carlton Reserve and identified them as Laundrie through dental records. Police wanted to question him in connection with Petito’s death. A coroner said someone strangled her to death. Investigators never named Laundrie a suspect in the case. Though, they charged him with using Petito’s debit card after her death.
Dog the Bounty Hunter inserted himself into the case last month when he vowed to track down Laundrie. Since then, he’s been a constant figure in the case. He gave scores of interviews and made wild, unfounded accusations.
He said Laundrie was alive and that his parents most likely helped him escape. Police haven’t said when or how Laundrie died.
Lawyer Slams Conspiracy Theories About Parents of Brian Laundrie
The parents of Gabby Petito reported her missing on Sept. 11. Since then, internet sleuths have speculated over almost every aspect of the case. Conspiracy theorists wove stories over how Brian Laundrie’s parents helped him escape the police. While his parents did stonewall investigators in the case, police never claimed they were involved.
Though, that didn’t stop the rumors. And after police found the body of Brian Laundrie, these sleuths created bizarre and macabre theories to fit the new information. Namely that the parents of Brian Laundrie “planted” evidence — including his body — at the Carlton Reserve.
Steven Bertolino, the lawyer representing the parents of Brian Laundrie, called the claims “ludicrous” and media coverage of the case “maddening.”
“There are two young people that have now lost their lives,” Bertolino told NBC News. “There are parents that are suffering. Now, I understand that whatever happened or whatever didn’t happen … this is tragic for two families. And anybody with a child and anybody with a sense of humanity can understand the frustration that both families feel on that point.”
He asked that the public leave the parents of Brian Laundrie alone so they can also grieve the loss of their child.