The FBI has now confirmed that the human remains found in a Florida nature reserve on Wednesday are those of Brian Laundrie.
Positive identification of the “skeletal remains” found (which included a “partial skull”) was made using “a comparison of dental records”.
The area where Laundrie’s body was found had previously been submerged underwater, rendering it inaccessible until recently.
His remains were found approximately five kilometres inside the Carlton Reserve.
Along with his remains, some of Laundrie’s personal items were found in the reserve. These included a backpack, a notebook, a dry bag, and some clothing.
Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, found their son’s belongings after deciding to check the park after learning it had re-opened.
The notebook is of particular interest, according to CNN:
…the notebook believed to be Laundrie’s could offer some insight into a story that has grabbed public attention.
“If that notebook contained, for example, information that could have been admissions, it could be projecting blame or rationalization, all that information could help in the determination,” former FBI profiler Jim Clemente said Thursday.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that the notebook was clearly wet when it was found outside of a dry bag that authorities located Wednesday during their search. But it is “possibly salvageable,” the source said.
While most of us admit defeat as soon as a book becomes soaked, the FBI has technology and techniques well beyond our means.
Mark O’Mara, a criminal defence attorney and former prosecutor, says that advancements in the field of forensic technology will make agents hopeful:
“So I think there’s going to be great information to come from that. Because even if there is bleeding amongst the ink and the pages, they have done a great job with even much older items that they find,” O’Mara explained.
At this stage, no cause of death has been determined.
Clemente says it’s possible that Laundrie has been dead for the majority of the time that law enforcement has been searching for him.
This would make any determination difficult:
“It’s going to be much more difficult to make a good, solid determination as to the cause and manner of death unless there’s some kind of major, serious trauma to the skull that can be identified,” Clemente explained.
“There might not be a way to determine how he died. If he drowned, for example, there wouldn’t be any evidence of that on his skeleton.”
Hence why the notebook is so important in terms of piecing together what happened.
Gabby Petito’s autopsy revealed that she had been strangled to death, after her body was found on September 19.
The Laundrie family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, said earlier this week that Brian was “visibly upset” when he left his parents’ home last month, headed to the Carlton Reserve.
His father was unable to stop him.
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