Police have confirmed that Brian Laundrie is dead. The human remains found on Wednesday, which were skeletal, were identified by matching dental records.

“#UPDATE: On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie,” The Tampa FBI posted on Twitter.

“They are human remains, no doubt there. I would say that the remains were consistent with one individual, you know skeletal remains,” North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN earlier on Thursday. “It’s consistent with what he was believed to be wearing.”

Will the FBI Continue the Gabby Petito Investigation?

Presumably, the investigation into what happened to Gabby Petito is not over even though Brian has been confirmed dead. Just because the remains have been identified through dental records does not mean that officers have the answers needed to fill the gaps in the story.

Lingering Brian Laundrie questions remain such as why he went into hiding, why he returned without Gabby, and what happened during their cross-country road trip to end in her death?

Brian Laundrie was also still a “person of interest” in the case, and was never charged with any crimes, including murder. It is unknown if the FBI are actively considering any other suspects in the case of Gabby Petito’s homicide, but authorities never charged Brian Laundrie with her homicide.

Can Brian Laundrie be Tried for Murder Now That He Has Died?

No, not according to U.S. law. For someone to go to trial in a criminal case, the accused must also be able to provide a defense, which they cannot do if they are dead. Essentially, there is no need to bring the accused to justice if they cannot defend themselves, which is their right in the Constitution, or if they cannot serve punishment.

The same rule also applies to those who are mentally unfit (or “insane”) to stand trial, though their condition and mental faculties must be proven in court.

However, it is possible to sue Brian Laundrie’s family for damages in court (such as emotional, physical, or monetary damages), which could provide their victims with financial compensation. This kind of trial would be in civil court though, not criminal.

For the Gabby Petito investigation, finding Brian Laundrie dead was the worst case scenario, as it would provide her loved ones with very little closure regarding what happened to their daughter in Wyoming.

“If Brian is dead, the problem is that no one will ever really know what happened or why it happened,” Gabby’s friend, Alyssa Chen, told People on Wednesday, before the remains were identified. “That’s why I want him to be alive, because we won’t get answers otherwise.”

Could Christopher and Roberta Laundrie Go to Jail?

Possibly. According to The Daily Mail, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie may have already given the FBI some information that has yet to be revealed in order to avoid potential charges of obstruction of justice should anything come to light once Brian was found.

His parents have yet to testify in court, so incorrect timelines or previous knowledge would result in obstruction of justice, not perjury. Lying to the FBI is still a serious crime, as well as aiding and abetting a “person of interest,” should Brian’s parent be found to be personally involved in his hiding. Evidence would have to be very compelling to convict them, however, now that Brian was found dead.

Partial human remains and a backpack believed to belong to Brian Laundrie were “found in an area that, up until recently, had been under water,” the FBI said at a press conference on Wednesday. “The reserve is closed to the public and no further details are available at this time.”

According to Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino, “Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s.”

“We have no further comment at this time,” he said, “and we ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy.”