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DNA analysis to be performed on Brian Laundrie's remains, police in Florida say

( FILE ) FILE - This Aug. 12,

( FILE ) FILE - This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park. Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with him, has been charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continue looking for him in Florida swampland, federal authorities announced Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Credit: AP/Moab Police Department

Officials will perform DNA analysis on the remains of Brian Laundrie, the now-deceased "person of interest" in the homicide of his fiancee and Blue Point native Gabrielle Petito, Florida police said Tuesday.

In a statement released on Twitter, the North Port Police Department said it had received "a number of inquiries Tuesday about a false report of DNA not matching Brian Laundrie." The police department was apparently referring to social media posts making the claim that had gone viral.

North Port police also tweeted a statement from the Florida medical examiner performing Laundrie’s autopsy.

"The identity of the remains found at the Carlton Reserve on October 20th was confirmed by comparison to known dental records of Brian Laundrie," said the statement. "No DNA analysis has yet been performed on the remains. Samples will be submitted for DNA testing once the examination of the remains by the medical examiner’s office is complete."

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino declined to comment Tuesday.

Bertolino had previously said the family provided the FBI with Laundrie’s personal items containing his DNA.

Bertolino has said Laundrie’s skeletal remains, which were found last week in a previously waterlogged area of the reserve after more than a month of searching by authorities, would be examined by an anthropologist in order to determine Laundrie’s cause and manner of death.

Asked about the need for DNA analysis, Josh Taylor, the spokesman for North Port police, said by email: "I believe that is just part of the process."

The attempt by the North Port police to rebutt a false online rumor in the case, which has attracted the attention of legions of online conspiracy theorists, comes a day after its spokesman admitted that investigators mistook Laundrie's mother for him as they conducted surveillance on the 23-year-old.

Taylor, in an interview with WINK-TV on Monday, acknowledged police mistakenly thought it was Laundrie who returned home on Sept. 15 — two days after he left home to go hiking at the reserve — as they ran surveillance on the man in the days after Petito was reported missing Sept. 11.

But it was actually Laundrie’s mother Roberta Laundrie, clad in a baseball cap, who investigators saw return to the home in a silver Ford Mustang, Taylor said.

"No case is perfect," Taylor told the station.

Taylor explained the police mistake as questions were raised about the North Port police chief’s statement on Sept. 16 at a news conference that he knew where Laundrie was located. The next day, his parents reported him missing and police embarked on a five-week-long search.

Laundrie, who had been on a cross-country road trip with Petito, returned home alone to North Port on Sept. 1 in Petito’s white van and refused to speak to investigators. The body of Petito, who died by manual strangulation, was found in a Wyoming national forest on Sept. 19.

The death of the 22-year-old has been ruled a homicide, but no charges have been filed.

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