Authorities returned Thursday to the sprawling Florida wildlife refuge the place they’ve been trying to find Brian Laundrie, who is needed for questioning within the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, whose loss of life was dominated a murder.
However Laundrie is more likely to have fled the state and will have had assist, specialists in lacking individuals instances mentioned.
“It appears unlikely that he is nonetheless in that reserve. They didn’t discover any hint of him to date. It has been weeks,” mentioned former FBI agent Bryanna Fox, an affiliate professor of criminology on the College of South Florida in Tampa.
Laundrie, 23, of North Port, Florida, might have had monetary or transportation help eluding authorities, Fox mentioned, including that if somebody picked him up hitchhiking or if he boarded a bus, witnesses most likely would have gone to police or the media.
“The concept that nothing has been mentioned reinforces to me that he was possible getting assist,” Fox mentioned. “Clearly, that particular person must be very loyal and really near him … to not compromise his id.”
Laundrie’s household mentioned he went mountaineering Sept. 13 within the Carlton Reserve, which has been searched a number of instances. Legislation enforcement officers have been again on the 25,000-acre wildlife refuge Thursday, along with his father, Chris Laundrie, serving to, household lawyer Steven Bertolino mentioned.
Once more, the search got here up empty, Bertolino mentioned in a textual content message to Telemundo affiliate WRMD of Tampa.
“Chris Laundrie accompanied members of legislation enforcement into the Reserve to point out them the paths and locations Chris and Brian have hiked and which Brian was recognized to frequent,” Bertolino mentioned. “There have been no discoveries however the effort was useful to all. It appears the water within the Reserve is receding and sure areas are extra accessible to go looking. … Hopefully Brian will probably be positioned quickly.”
The unforgiving terrain and the climate might simply erase any proof of Laundrie’s presence, Fox mentioned.
“These components which can be right here in Florida, a subtropical surroundings, are recognized to degrade proof,” she mentioned. “Think about a large panorama that is extraordinarily harmful. There are snakes, gators and animals. There may be rain, torrential downpours that come down out of the blue. It is scorching.”
Laundrie was on a cross-country street journey with Petito, 22, when she disappeared in late August. Her stays have been discovered Sept. 19 at a campground in Wyoming close to Grand Teton Nationwide Park. A coroner dominated the style of loss of life a murder; an official explanation for loss of life is pending post-mortem outcomes.
A grand jury indictment mentioned the FBI wished to talk with Laundrie about his “actions following the loss of life of Gabrielle Petito.” A federal arrest warrant was issued Sept. 22 in Wyoming alleging that he “knowingly and with intent to defraud, used a number of unauthorized entry gadgets, particularly a Capital One Financial institution debit card” owned by Petito and private identification numbers for 2 accounts.
Thomas Lauth, a personal investigator in Indianapolis who makes a speciality of lacking individuals instances, mentioned Thursday that he agreed with the speculation that Laundrie left his dwelling state and is more likely to have had assist.
“I’ve by no means thought he would keep in Florida very lengthy,” Lauth mentioned. “I imagine he had some exterior sources obtainable to him early on, however these exterior sources have possible minimize him off as a result of he is a fugitive.”
Laundrie has the talent set to fade within the wilderness, Lauth mentioned.
“He is been a savvy traveler for a few years. After I say ‘savvy,’ he is capable of stay off the land, and he is aware of how you can journey alone and frivolously,” Lauth mentioned.
Stories of potential Laundrie sightings have flooded legislation enforcement companies in Canada, Alabama and Montana, NBC New York reported, however none have been publicly confirmed by the FBI.
A spokesperson for the FBI couldn’t be reached for remark Thursday afternoon.
A misstep by Laundrie or a essential clue uncovered by the FBI is more likely to result in his being discovered, Fox mentioned.
“He has to get fortunate on a regular basis for him to not get caught,” she mentioned. “They solely must get fortunate as soon as. Ultimately, there is a good likelihood legislation enforcement will both discover him or study what occurred to him ahead of later.”