Gabby Petito’s family says discovery of Brian Laundrie’s body ‘robbed them of answers’

Gabby Petito’s devastated family has been bereft of answers about their beloved daughter’s death after confirmation that friend Brian Laundrie’s bones were found in a Florida swamp, one of her close friends told Dailymail.com.

‘You don’t know – did they argue, did he kill her? There is no answer,’ said the friend.

“She’s gone now. He is gone. Who really has closure? You don’t get a closure because you don’t know what happened.’

The FBI confirmed today that the skeletal remains found in the massive alligator-infested Carlton Reserve are those of Laundrie, 23 — the only person with an interest in the murder of strangled-of-life girl Gabby, 22.

Minutes before the news broke, two police officers from Laundrie’s hometown of North Port, Florida, arrived at the home he shared with parents Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55.

This is when a police officer arrived at Chris Laundrie’s house to inform him that a body discovered Wednesday belonged to his son Brian

Gabby's mother Nicole Schmidt cries and is comforted by her husband Jim Schmidt last month.  Schmidt and Petito's father Joe fears that the discovery of Brian Laundrie's body means they will never learn more about why their daughter was murdered

Gabby’s mother Nicole Schmidt cries and is comforted by her husband Jim Schmidt last month. Schmidt and Petito’s father Joe fears that the discovery of Brian Laundrie’s body means they will never learn more about why their daughter was murdered

Gabby's father Joe, pictured in blue, has repeatedly urged Laundrie to turn himself in but is now facing questions about what led to his daughter's murder in August

Gabby’s father Joe, pictured in blue, has repeatedly urged Laundrie to turn himself in but is now facing questions about what led to his daughter’s murder in August

His father opened the door after the solemn officers knocked twice – and photos from Dailymail.com show his stunned face as he faces the reality of his son’s death.

The remains were discovered as the laundries themselves peered into the menacing reservation early Wednesday morning along with two FBI agents.

Nearby was their son’s backpack, another purse, and a notebook that, according to a source who spoke to CNN, “could be salvageable” — and might provide vital answers to Gabby’s tragedy.

“Obviously it had been wet and they’re going to use whatever means possible to dry that out before they open it,” the source said. “They’ll be very careful with it.”

Meanwhile, the laundries’ own grief is mixed with possible outright justice, according to Gabby’s friend from Long Island, New York, where she attended high school.

Petito disappeared in August while on a road trip across the US with Laundrie, and her remains were found in Wyoming in September.  Laundromat's body was found on Wednesday, his remains were identified on Thursday

Petito disappeared in August while on a road trip across the US with Laundrie, and her remains were found in Wyoming in September. Laundromat’s body was found on Wednesday, his remains were identified on Thursday

“Brian isn’t here, so justice has been done?” he asked. “If you’ve done something like murder and justice is the death penalty, justice is done here. The difference is that you save the taxpayer a lot of money.’

But he insisted that this is a tragedy in every way.

“Both sides are suffering now. Nobody wishes this on their children. It’s a sad state of affairs.’

He said of Petito’s family, “I hope they feel justice. And hopefully they can see this as some form of closure. I, as a parent, would still like to know what happened. That’s the part that sucks.’

Gabby’s heartbroken family has only recently been able to collect the remains of their murdered daughter. Mother Nichole Schmidt, stepfather Jim Schmidt, father Joe Petito and stepmother Tara made the devastating trip to a funeral home in Jackson, Wyoming last week.

It was just a few days after Teton County coroner Dr. Brent Blue, announced that Gabby had been hand-strangled before being dumped close to a remote campground in Grand Teton National Park.

The secluded spot where the blogger’s body was discovered on September 19 has become a shrine to Petito, complete with a stone cross studded with flowers.

Gabby's parents begged Laundrie to come forward while he was missing, and the discovery of his body sparked fears they'll never find out why their daughter was strangled

Gabby’s parents begged Laundrie to come forward while he was missing, and the discovery of his body sparked fears they’ll never find out why their daughter was strangled

Gabby's father Joseph Petito grabs his murdered daughter's ashes in Wyoming on Oct. 16 after her remains were found at a nearby campground on Sept. 19.

Gabby’s father Joseph Petito grabs his murdered daughter’s ashes in Wyoming on Oct. 16 after her remains were found at a nearby campground on Sept. 19.

Nicole Schmidt, Gabby's mom, seen in Jackson along with her husband, Jim Schmidt, who flew from New York to Wyoming last week

Nicole Schmidt, Gabby’s mom, seen in Jackson along with her husband, Jim Schmidt, who flew from New York to Wyoming last week

dr. Blue declined to provide additional details about the autopsy findings, including whether her body was buried, whether drugs were found in her body, and whether she was murdered in the same spot where her body was found.

However, the three to four weeks her body was believed to have been in the wilderness placed her around the August 27-30 period. Investigators believe Petito and Laundrie had traveled to the area.

Just this week, Gabby’s mother said she wanted “coward” Laundrie to spend the rest of his life “in a cell.”

Nichole, who reported Gabby missing on Sept. 11 after losing contact with her, said she thought her daughter would be safe with Laundrie while traveling in her white 2012 Ford Transit van.

But her mind changed to branding him as a cold-blooded killer protected by his parents, who refused to talk to her.

“Silence speaks volumes,” she told 60 Minutes Australia. About the parents, she said, “I believe they know most of the information. I’d love to just ask face to face, “Why are you doing this? Just tell me the truth.”

“He’s a coward. I’m not saying he’s crazy because he went home, he hid, he used her credit card. That’s not someone who’s gone mad.

“He knows what he’s doing, he knew what he was doing. I just want to put him in a cell for the rest of his life.”

Her husband Jim added, “We want revenge. And justice.’

Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip when she disappeared in late August

Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip when she disappeared in late August

Her mother added: “I hope she didn’t suffer and she wasn’t in pain.

‘That she was in a place where she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains. This was bad. She was taken by someone else’s hand. It’s not fair.’

The FBI-led laundromat hunt in the looming Carlton Reserve appeared to have winded down this week before a new wave of activity involving law enforcement officers in tactical gear and rifles returned there.

Laundrie’s parents had told police he was on his way to the reservation when he left their home on September 13, two days after Gabby’s mother reported her missing. He had returned without her from a cross-country trip with Gabby to Utah and Wyoming on September 1.

The survivor enjoyed hiking in the reserve and adjacent Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where he left his silver Ford Mustang convertible.

And the beginning of the end came on Wednesday when the laundries left their homes at 7am and went to the environmental park. They were met there by two FBI agents before crossing a bridge together into the reservation and scattering on either side of a trail.

Within a short time, Christopher found Brian’s bag and the notebook outside, while the officers found his backpack. Shortly afterwards, skeletal remains were discovered and search teams continue to search for clues.

The Laundries attorney Steve Bertolino took to CNN to describe the couple’s quest and discoveries.

He said, “As they went further in, Chris ventured off the path into the woods. He zigzagged in different areas, the police did the same. And Roberta Laundrie walked down the path.

“At one point Chris finds a so-called dry bag. The dry bag is a white bag, laying in the woods, say 20 feet or so from the trail.’

‘He did speak briefly with the police, they looked at the contents of the bag. At that point, law enforcement officers showed him a photo on the phone of a backpack that police also found nearby and also some distance from the trail.

“At that point, the laundries were informed that there were also remains near the backpack and were asked to leave the reserve.”

The reserve was heavily flooded for most of the time during the massive search for the wetland, which began five weeks ago. It is known that the area the laundries visited was a favorite place of their son and that the flooding there had recently subsided.

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