Apparent human remains found Wednesday in a Florida park likely belong to Brian Laundrie, the family's lawyer told CNN on Wednesday night.
Law enforcement authorities found a backpack and notebook they believe belonged to Laundrie near the suspected remains while they were searching in the Carlton Reserve in North Port, Florida, the FBI said.
Laundrie was being sought as "a person of interest" in the murder of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. He had not been charged in her death but was indicted for allegedly using two financial accounts that did not belong to him following her death.
The Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino told CNN that "the probability is strong, that it is Brian's remains" found by the FBI.
"It's quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son's belonging alongside from the remains. That's got to be heartbreaking," Bertolino said. "And I can tell you that they are heartbroken."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said the apparent remains were found in an area that has been under water until recently, which could potentially make the identification process take longer.
A source told CNN the remains "appear to have been there a while."
"Based on the condition of the remains, it may take some time to officially identify," the source told CNN. "It is going to be a very thorough process with the medical examiner."
The discovery came while authorities were seeking Laundrie and trying to find out what happened to Petito, 22, who was found dead by strangulation. She had been traveling in a van around the western U.S. this summer and later was reported missing.
It was the "very area of the park that we initially informed law enforcement on," Bertolino, referring to a Sept. 17 meeting with law enforcement, told CNN.
The attorney also said that Laundrie's parents — Chris and Roberta Laundrie — helped law enforcement with finding some items at the park, which he described as "happenstance," and they were on the scene when remains were found.
Bertolino said Laundrie's parents informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department on Tuesday night that they wanted to visit the park Wednesday morning, the first day the park had been reopened since the search began.
Law enforcement officials met them and joined them as they entered the park, Bertolino said.
"As they went further in, Chris ventured off the trail into the woods. He was zigzagging in different areas, law enforcement was doing the same thing. And Roberta Laundrie was walking down the trail," Bertolino said.
"At some point, Chris locates what's called a dry bag. The dry bag is a white bag, laying in the woods, say 20 feet or so off the trail."
At around the same time, law enforcement located a backpack nearby and also what appeared to be human remains, Bertolino said.
"At that point, the Laundries were notified there was also remains near the backpack, and they were asked to leave the preserve," the lawyer said.
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