Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino has rubbished suggestions that Chris and Roberta may have planted their son’s belongings in a Florida nature reserve.
Human remains strongly believed to belong to Brian Laundrie were discovered in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday alongside a backpack and notebook belonging to the missing fugitive.
Follow all the latest on the Brian Laundrie search here.
Despite law enforcement scouring the waterlogged reserve for five weeks without finding any trace of him, Mr Laundrie’s parents located the items within a couple of hours.
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino says he instructed Brian’s parents initially not to speak to authorities or Gabby Petito’s family.
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When asked about growing speculation that the items could have been placed there, Mr Bertolino told CNN’s Chris Cuomo: “In nice terms, it’s hogwash.
“Chris and Roberta went to this area first and as happenstance was, they stumbled upon these items,” he said.
Mr Bertolino revealed the items had been found near a bridge that connects the the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park to the Carlton Reserve.
He said that Chris Laundrie had found a dry bag belonging to his son about 20 feet from the trail with a news crew nearby.
Police found the backpack and human remains close to that site, he said.
“Chris didn’t want to pick the bag up because he wanted law enforcement to see it. This was caught on camera.
“Chris couldn’t find the law enforcement because they were then out of sight, because Chris had been in the woods, so he didn’t want to leave the bag there with the news reporter standing nearby, so he picked it up.”
Mr Bertolino went on to make a subtle dig at law enforcement’s search efforts, saying his clients had given them the information necessary to find their son.
“The parents had assumed that the experts, the FBI and all the tracking teams they had, would be able to locate Brian based upon the information that we had provided them to the specific areas and trails in the park that Brian liked to visit,” he said.
Mr Bertolino, who has known the Laundrie family for 20 years, also told CNN that he had instructed them not to speak to Gabby Petito’s family about the disappearance of their son.
“The family was following my directions. I told them not to talk with anybody, not to say a word, I was the intermediary between the family and law enforcement.
“Everybody has the right to remain silent and that’s what I told my clients and that’s what they did,” he said.
He added that the parents would not be commenting themselves, as they were “heartbroken” over their son.
Nor would they be addressing the Petito family yet.
“Now is not the right time to talk about the situation with Gabby.”