KEY POINTS

  • The notebook, which belonged to Brian Laundrie, was found in a wet state
  • An expert said the FBI will have "some luck" retaining some of the notebook
  • The death of Laundrie has left several questions unanswered in Gabby Petito's case

The wet notebook, which experts believe could hold key answers to what might have happened to Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito, is "possibly salvageable," a source told CNN.

The FBI and the North Port Police Department had found Laundrie’s skeletal remains and personal items, including the notebook, in the Carlton Reserve in Florida on Wednesday. A comparison of dental records then confirmed Laundrie's identity, according to the FBI.

Laundrie's remains were found after a month-long search for the 23-year-old, who was the only one named as the person of interest in Petito's homicide case.

Now, experts say the notebook found near his remains could help unravel the mystery behind his death. However, the notebook's condition was such that authorities were not immediately able to read its contents.

"They are going to use any potential means to dry that out before opening it," the unidentified source, who has knowledge of the investigation, told CNN. "They'll be very careful with it."

Mark O'Mara, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, told CNN the FBI will have "some luck" retaining some of the notebook due to the forensic technology advancement.

"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.

While there have been several conspiracy theories surrounding Laundrie's death, former FBI profiler Jim Clemente said determining the cause could be challenging. 

"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, according to CNN. "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."

Laundrie and Petito went on a cross-country trip together, but the former returned home alone in his fiancée’s car on Sept. 1. No one in his family reported Petito missing. 

The 22-year-old YouTuber's body was found on Sept. 19 at a national park in Wyoming, at least three weeks after the coroner estimated she was killed. The coroner ruled on Oct. 12 the cause of her death to be strangulation.

Brian Laundrie Brian Laundrie in an image from a police bodycam released by the Moab City Police Department in Utah. Photo: Moab City Police Department / Handout