Brian Laundrie's family attorney has vehemently denied the rumors that his parents Christopher and Roberta Laundrie planted human remains and personal belongings at the Carlton Reserve in Florida.
During an appearance on Chris Cuomo's CNN show, Cuomo Prime, family attorney Steve Bertolino shut down the allegations, saying, "In nice terms, it's hogwash." He continued, "Chris and Roberta went to this area first and, as happenstance was, they stumbled upon these items."
The speculation came after the couple arrived on scene at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday, October 20, to aid the FBI and the North Port Police Department in the search. Mere hours later, remains and belongings were found.
The lawyer, who stated that he believes "the probability is strong" that the remains are Brian's, told the news anchor, "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."
A plastic bag, that was later determined to be Brian's, was found by his father without law enforcement present. "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," Bertolino clarified.
"He did meet up shortly with law enforcement. They looked at the contents of the bag," the lawyer confirmed. Brian's belongings were later discovered by police. The legal representative continued, "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. At that point, the Laundries were notified that there was also remains near the backpack and they were asked to leave the preserve."
Brian's family has been criticized for being extremely tight lipped ever since his girlfriend Gabby Petito disappeared earlier in September and after their son went missing. But according to the attorney, this silence was instructed by him. "Now is not the right time to talk about the situation with Gabby," he told Cuomo.
"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," Bertolini explained.
"They know it's been hard. But ultimately, you know, this is the advice I gave them. This is the advice they're taking, and that's on me. I'm the one who told them not to talk. That's been on me from day one. That's not on the family," the representative said.