The human remains that were recently found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park with Brian Laundrie’s belongings were identified as Brian Laundrie.
After the FBI’s confirmation on Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said the governor is committed to helping victims of domestic violence.
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’s press secretary, said, “The governor is committed to doing whatever he can to help prevent domestic violence, support survivors and ensure justice for victims.”
The human remains were found next to Brian Laundrie’s belongings on Wednesday and the FBI used dental records to confirm the remains were Laundrie’s on Thursday. Officials said that the area where the remains and Laundrie’s belongings were found was underwater until recently.
The 23-year-old Laundrie had left his North Port home on September 13, only two days after his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was reported missing by her parents.
Petito’s remains were discovered on September 19 near a campsite in Wyoming where the couple stopped in late August on their cross-country road trip that Petito was videoing for her social media accounts.
A coroner ruled her death as homicide by manual strangulation and noted it’s “one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence.”
A couple of weeks before Petito died, Brain and Gabby got into an argument in Moab, Utah. A witness told police that “the gentleman was slapping the girl,” and Gabby told police Brian grabbed her face, but officers just separated them for the night without filing any charges. This, it was believed, was because Gabby admitted that she assaulted Brian by scratching his face.
On Wednesday, Governor DeSantis spoke with Joe Petito, Gabby’s father, and expressed his support for the family and their efforts to help other victims. The Petito family started the Gabby Petito Foundation to help victims of domestic violence and missing persons.
“I was able to speak to Gabby Petito’s father yesterday, just checking up to see how he’s doing and see if there’s anything we can do to help,” DeSantis said at a rally in Florida on Thursday. “He feels really strongly that there’s more that can be done to protect people like Gabby, who were victims of domestic violence, and I agree with him.”
DeSantis also said he wants to help with fundraising and anything else the Petitos need at this time.
“I know he’s working hard on stuff. I told them, you know, we raise money for different things,” DeSantis said on Thursday. “We raised money for fallen officers’ families in Florida. We’re going to probably do some other stuff with my wife eventually for breast cancer. But I told him, in our charitable endeavors, we want to be helpful. So I think we’re going to be able to do it.”
Richard Stafford, a spokesman for the Petito family, told Fox News’ Laura Ingle on Thursday that Gabby’s family is still mourning the loss of their daughter.
“They are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter,” Stafford said. “Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready.”
DeSantis acknowledged that losing a child is “probably the worst blow you can receive.”
“He’s a strong fella,” DeSantis said of Gabby, father, Joe Petito. “She was just starting out in life, had a great future ahead of her, obviously a very pretty young lady who everyone seemed to like. And so it’s really, really sad, but it also, a lot of us, at least me, were angry that something like this would have happened, and we do want to get all the answers as soon as possible. And I know that would make him feel a lot better.”