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Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider, where we unspool threads of online misinformation—one dumb conspiracy at a time…
ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY
Conspiracy theorists believe Brian Laundrie’s parents fooled the FBI with loose teeth
A wave of conspiracy theories flooded social media after skeletal remains found at a Florida reserve on Wednesday were confirmed to belong to Brian Laundrie, the man wanted for questioning after the disappearance and death of his 22-year-old fiancée Gabby Petito.
The FBI said in a statement that it was able to confirm that the remains belonged to Laundrie after comparing them to his dental records.
“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 FBI said.
Although police had been searching the reserve for weeks, the day the remains were discovered was also the day that Laundrie’s parents arrived to aid in the search.
The timing was seen as more than coincidental to many online, who argued that something insidious had taken place.
“So Dog the Bounty Hunter and the FBI couldn’t find Brian Laundrie but his parents find ‘his remains’ the first day they decide to ‘help out’ with the investigation…” one person tweeted.
Many also began suggesting that Laundrie could still be alive and may have pulled out his own teeth and left them at the scene in order to fool law enforcement.
“So the FBI said the remains are Brian Laundrie’s by dental records. Were the teeth in a jaw or found loose?” another person online questioned. “If loose, they could have been pulled and he is alive in hiding?”
The column continues below.
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Countless others claimed that Laundrie’s parents could have planted the teeth in order to protect their son.
“The Brian Laundrie case is honestly total ass. They’re going to go off dental records and not disclose how many teeth they found?!” someone on Twitter wrote. “If it was a random body and a tooth, the tooth literally could’ve been planted by the parents since they suddenly found evidence once they arrived.”
The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, lashed out at the conspiracy theorists as a result.
“Do you really think the Laundries had skeletal remains of their son, you know, in a plastic bag and brought them to present to the [Carlton Reserve]?” Bertolino said. “Do you realize how ludicrous that is, how aggravating, how maddening it is to even hear those things?”
In a statement to NewsNation Prime, police also confirmed that the “remains and items had clearly been there for some time” and were discovered after water covering the area had receded.
While the FBI has not provided specifics thus far on the remains, the use of dental records suggests that the skull or at least part of it was found.
The suggestion that the FBI would be fooled by a handful of loose teeth somehow planted by the Laundrie’s while under the watchful eye of numerous law enforcement agencies is entirely implausible.
—By Mikael Thalen, staff writer