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FBI confirms human remains found in Carlton Reserve area belong to Brian Laundrie

He had been the only person of interest the FBI named in the homicide of Gabby Petito.

NORTH PORT, Fla. — After more than a month of searching, the FBI says Gabby Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, has been found dead.

The FBI's Denver office confirmed human remains found on Oct. 20 at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Sarasota County, Florida, belonged to Laundrie. The FBI said the skeletal human remains were identified through a comparison of dental records.

The Laundrie's family attorney confirmed to 10 Tampa Bay that Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains "are indeed Brian's."

"We have no further comment at this time and we ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy at this time," Lawyer Steven Bertolino wrote.

The attorney for the Petito family said it is not making a statement at this time as they "are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter." 

The FBI says it was grateful for the "tremendous investigative support" from all of the partner agencies that assisted.

The identification comes one day after FBI agents in Tampa revealed a backpack and notebook belonging to 23-year-old Laundrie were discovered in the same area as the human remains. 

The area had previously been underwater, the FBI explained.

Portions of the Carlton Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park could remain closed for several days, as an evidence response team works at the location.

RELATED: Medical examiner called to Carlton Reserve area as Brian Laundrie's parents search for son

For nearly five weeks, law enforcement officers had focused a majority of their search on the "vast and unforgiving" Carlton Reserve. The area was the last known location Laundrie's parents told the FBI he went before never returning home.

Laundrie's parents originally told the FBI he left to go for a hike there on Sept. 14 but later amended their story to say they believed it was actually Sept. 13.

"The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13," their lawyer explained at the time.

Petito's disappearance caught the nation's attention when the 22-year-old was reported missing after embarking on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie.

The two hit the road in July and documented their travels through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on social media, posting photos on Instagram and videos on the YouTube channel "Nomadic Statik."

RELATED: TIMELINE | The disappearance and death of Gabby Petito: What we know

But Petito's family became worried when they say they weren't hearing from her and received an "odd text" on Aug. 27 reading, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." 

Stan, police say, was Petito's grandfather. However, her mother said Petito never called him by that name. It was the last bit of communication anyone had with Petito before Sept. 11, when her family reported her missing to Suffolk County Police Department in New York.

North Port police would later determine that Laundrie returned to his family's home just days after the text was sent. Police say the couple's van was with him but Petito was not.

It was also uncovered that on Sept. 12, Petito and Laundrie had a run-in with police who were dispatched to what was originally reported as a suspected domestic violence call in Moab, Utah.

RELATED: 'Something seemed off' says witness of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie's fight

The couple detailed their argument to the Moab Police Department, which made no arrests.

Police released body camera video of the incident which shows Gabby crying when the first officer walked up. The couple reportedly told officers they were in love and engaged to be married. They agreed to separate for the night to calm down, police said.

While the multi-state search for Gabby continued, authorities and Petito's family pleaded with Laundrie parents to help with the investigation and share any insight into where Gabby could be.

Eventually, the FBI would name Brian Laundrie as a person of interest in Petito's disappearance and homicide, after they said his lack of information was "hindering the investigation."

RELATED: Brian Laundrie's parents' actions questioned following Gabby Petito's disappearance

On Sept. 17, the investigation grew more complicated as investigators, including members of the North Port Police Department, went into the Laundrie home at around 6:30 p.m.

Hours later, Laundrie's lawyer confirmed that the FBI was now searching for him and Petito. His whereabouts remained unknown until now.

On Sept. 21, the FBI in Denver positively identified the body found in Bridger-Teton National Forest as Petito. The coroner's office determined the initial manner of death was homicide.

A final autopsy would later determine she was killed by "manual strangulation," according to the Teton County, Wyoming coroner. It was estimated that Petito had died three to four weeks before her body was found.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie in connection with Petito's case. Court documents show a grand jury charged Laundrie with "knowingly with intent to defraud" using a Capital One debit card in the amount of at least $1,000. The action happened on or about Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, the documents say.

Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino confirmed the debit card in question was Petito's.

RELATED: Sharper Insight: Here's how Florida law could impact Brian Laundrie's family

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