KEY POINTS

  • The lawyer said Laundries had informed police about their plans to search at the park
  • He said the officers were closely following the couple 
  • The Laundries are waiting for forensic results to verify the remains

Florida fugitive Brian Laundrie's family attorney has claimed that it was Brian's father who found his son's dry bag and other possessions inside a park in Florida. Attorney Steve Bertolino said the suggestion that Chris Laundrie had planted the dry bag was "hogwash."

The FBI found partial human remains and some items belonging to the fugitive at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida, on Wednesday. The park is located close to the Carlton Reserve that's been at the center of the search for Brian, who is the only person of interest in the death of YouTuber Gabby Petito.

Bertolino told CNN's Chris Cuomo that Chris and Roberta Laundrie helped law enforcement agencies to find the items. "As happenstance was, they stumbled upon these items," he said.

He said the remains were found in "the very area of the park that we initially informed law enforcement on." 

FBI Tampa special agent Michael McPherson, at a press conference Wednesday, said the items were "found in an area that up until recently had been underwater."

Bertolino claimed the Laundries had informed the law enforcement Tuesday night about their plans to search at the park, which was reopened just a day ago. They were joined by the North Port Police Department officials at the park Wednesday morning, he said.

The officers were following the Laundries closely and they were "certainly within eyeshot," 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."

Though Chris didn't want to pick up the bag as he wanted the law enforcement to see it, he couldn't find the officers at the time. So he decided to pick it up as there was a news reporter standing nearby, the attorney said.

"He did meet up shortly with law enforcement, they looked at the contents of the bag. At that time, law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail," Bertolino told CNN.

"At that point, the Laundries were notified there was also remains near the backpack, and they were asked to leave the preserve," Bertolino added. 

He said the family was "heartbroken." When asked if they believed the remains were their son's, the attorney said, "The probability is strong that it is Brian's remains but we are going to wait for the forensic results to come in to verify that."

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