After human remains were found near some of Laundrie’s belongings in the Carlton Reserve on Wednesday, October 20, Petito’s friends are hoping they aren’t his.
The discovered remains have not yet been identified, although the Laundrie family’s lawyer recently stated that “the probability is strong,” that the remains belong to the 23-year-old fugitive.
Friends of Peitto, who died at age 22, told PEOPLE on Wednesday that they hope that Laundrie is alive so that he can provide answers for his alleged involvement in Petito’s tragic death.
The Laundrie’s family lawyer Steven Bertolino said in an interview on Wednesday night that the remains were likely to be those of the fugitive, considering that they were found near Laundrie’s backpack and other items.
Another friend of Petito, Ben Matula, is also hoping that the missing person of interest is still alive out there somewhere.
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“If it’s him, he didn’t want to face the music. He had a lot of things he had to account for and he can’t do that if he’s dead. Except to God. If he’s meeting his maker, I hope he got things right before he died. But death is the easy way out,” Matula said.
“I actually hope it’s not him, because that means he never has to answer for what happened to Gabby,” he added.
Last month, Petito’s body was found near a campground in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where the couple had been traveling as part of a cross-country road trip.
Petito’s parents last heard from her around the end of August, when she suddenly stopped reaching out to them during her trip.
On September 1, Laundrie returned home in the influencer’s van without her before going missing nearly two weeks later.
Last week, it was announced that Petito was killed by manual strangulation, and while Laundrie has not been named a suspect in the murder, many believe he might have had something to do with it.
Earlier this week, a psychologist speculated that Laundrie may have been in an “impulse-ridden rage” if he was involved in the murder of his fiancée.
The Laundrie family — along with the rest of the country — are still awaiting official forensic results to determine whether or not the remains belong to Laundrie.