After weeks of searching, the Brian Laundrie Manhunt may finally be taking off. But not everyone is happy with the result.
As we previously reported, Wednesday saw a major break in the case when human remains were found at Mayakahachi Creek Environmental Park in Florida. The FBI has yet to confirm that the remains belonged to Brian, but Special Agent Michael McPherson confirmed that Brian’s backpack and notebook were found nearby.
Evidence may indicate that Brian died sometime after his fiancée, Gabby Pettito. As one can imagine, his loved ones were expecting a different outcome – and they would be disappointed if that is indeed the case.
Gabby’s friend Alyssa Chen told PEOPLE:
“If Brian is dead, the problem is that no one will ever really know what happened or why it happened.”
“We’ll never have answers. That’s why I want him to be alive, because we won’t get answers otherwise. It’ll be a double tragedy for him to be dead.”
Ben Matula, a friend of his high school in Long Island, New York, agreed. He shared with the outlet:
“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.”
Wow. strong words.
“I actually hope it’s not him, because that means he never has to answer for what happened to Gabby.”
In a previous statement to PEOPLE after Gabby’s cause of death was announced, Matula didn’t mince words:
“If Brian strangled her, I hope he burns in hell. That’s all I have to say.”
Unfortunately, there are still many unanswered questions in the case, starting with yesterday’s discovery of human remains – they may be Brian’s, but several other bodies found during the search were not linked to the case. As noted by her friends, there are still a lot of mysteries surrounding Gabby’s final days. And there are still doubts about Brian’s parents and whether they helped their son escape law enforcement. (Could it be a coincidence that the day Chris and Roberta Laundrie finally joined the search, there was a major discovery?)
It is not clear how many of these questions will be answered… if any. For Gabby’s friends and family, we hope there’s still an explanation out there.
[Image via Joseph Petito/Gabby Petito/Instagram]