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How did Brian Laundrie die? Alligator theories join host of conspiracies on the Internet

Confirmation that the remains found at Carlton Reserve lead internet users to joke 'Local alligator was quoted as saying 'yummy'
UPDATED OCT 22, 2021
Brian Laundrie (Brian Laundrie/Instagram) and an alligator in Florida (Joe Readle/Getty Images)
Brian Laundrie (Brian Laundrie/Instagram) and an alligator in Florida (Joe Readle/Getty Images)

After nearly two months since he first disappeared, the remains of Brian Laundrie have been found by investigators at Carlton Reserve in Florida. On October 21, the FBI confirmed the human remains found belonged to Laundrie after dental records of the skull were used to identify the body. It brings to an end one of the most high-profile missing person cases in recent memory, triggered by the disappearance of Gabby Petito back in August.

Laundrie's remains were located by his parents Chris and Roberta, who joined the FBI in the search for their son. Roberta was seen wiping tears off her husband's face after the couple located Brian's backpack and notebook on October 20. The sudden discovery, nearly 6 weeks after the FBI began their hunt prompted many on social media to claim the discovery was "staged", while other conspiracy theories continue to do the rounds.


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One of those theories has to do with how Laundrie died. The FBI did not dive into any details, only confirming the remains found were that of Laundrie's. We don't know what condition the body was in, and what remains exactly were found, but it is safe to say a skull was found since the FBI used dental records to identify Laundrie. Given the area is populated with alligators, social media created its own theories on how exactly Laundrie died while making fun of his death as well.

A general view of the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Venice, Florida. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

How did Brian Laundrie die?

According to The Sun, investigators found a partial skull at the Carlton Reserve.  In an interview, retired NYPD commander Tom Joyce offered more insight into what exactly may have happened. "If the remains are skeletal, that means the tissue has been pulled away from the bones. Most likely by alligators, crabs, fish, and stuff like that," he told The Sun. He said that was the most likely scenario, since "it's definitely not long enough time for it to go naturally."

Given that investigators found so little, Joyce noted it would be hard to determine a cause of death. "Sometimes, the medical examiner can't make a ruling. It's just something that might happen. And so in that case they can't say it's a homicide. They can't say it's a suicide. They can't say it's accidental. They can't say it was an animal attack - they might not be able to," he said. Joyce explained that it was because if Laundrie died due to an injury, toxic substance, or asphyxiation, it would be hard to detect given that there is so little to work with.

So the truth is we may never know what exactly happened to Laundrie. That didn't stop social media from theorizing, with many believing it was an alligator that killed him. Shortly after the FBI's statement, many alligator-themed jokes began doing the rounds, which while distasteful, plenty of users clearly found funny. 

'I will never doubt Karma again'

One person tweeted, "Partial human remains have been found in Florida during the search for Brian Laundrie. Local alligator was quoted as saying "yummy"." Another joked, "Dog the Bounty Hunter finding Brian Laundrie, feeding him to an alligator, and pretending he didn't is the ending we deserve." Another posted a GIF of a gator and tweeted, "The gator cracking up after he ate brian."




"If Brian Laudrie was killed by a Gator I will never doubt Karma again," one person said. Another mocked, "Brian Laundrie died after a 2 week battle with covid and a much shorter battle with an alligator. -Dr Fauci probably." Another user tweeted, "If a gator really tore Brian Laundrie to bits then the @FBI needs to make that low rider dinosaur the honorary director. A national hero. Ulysses move over we have someone new to put on the $50."




One enterprising user even created an account named 'alligator who ate brian laundrie'. Interestingly, the account was opened in April 2021 according to Twitter, so it seems like a pre-existing parody account someone renamed for the occasion. If any old tweets existed, they have since been deleted. The account is now replying to tweets about Laundrie, making comments like "I am happy".