The partial human remains were found on Wednesday in a Florida wilderness area where authorities were searching for Laundrie since he was reported missing by his family in mid-September.

Supporters of Gabby Petito hold up photos of Gabby after a news conference on October 20, 2021, in North Port, Fla.
Supporters of Gabby Petito hold up photos of Gabby after a news conference on October 20, 2021, in North Port, Fla. (AP)

The FBI has identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip.

The remains, a backpack and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie were discovered Wednesday in a Florida wilderness park, according to the FBI. The area where they were found had been under water during earlier searches.

The FBI's Denver office said in a news release that a comparison of dental records confirmed that the remains were Laundrie.

The discovery of the remains concluded a massive search involving federal, state and local law enforcement that began shortly after Laundrie disappeared September 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned alone to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida.

Petito’s family reported her missing September 11, launching a search that garnered worldwide media attention and focused largely on the Carlton Reserve wilderness park near the Laundrie home. It is a densely wooded, swampy area that's home to alligators, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and numerous other creatures.

The intense focus on Petito’s case has led to renewed calls for people to pay greater attention to cases involving missing Indigenous women and other people of color.

The body of Petitio, 22, was found September 19 on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. The coroner there concluded she died of strangulation and her body had been where it was found for three or four weeks.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies