Is Brian Laundrie in touch with parents? Experts think he's contacting through lawyer
A former FBI agent believes Gabby Petito's missing fiance Brian Laundrie is "loosely" contacting his parents through their family attorney and will be found alive by law enforcement.
Laundrie, 23, is yet to be found by authorities more than three weeks after his parents first reported him missing. The fugitive was the last person to see Petito, 22, but refused to speak with the authorities about her whereabouts after he returned to his Florida home on September 1 by himself driving the couple's converted camper van. As the quest to find Petito intensified, Laundrie was named a 'person of interest' in the case. He went missing from his home in Florida on September 13, just days before Petito's body was found on September 19. An autopsy ruled her death a homicide, sparking a nationwide manhunt for Laundrie.
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Ex FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer was quizzed by NewsNationNow journalist Brian Entin about whether Laundrie was in touch with his parents. "Yes, although very loosely through the attorney," she reportedly said.
While it's unclear if Laundrie spoke to his parents through their lawyer Steve Bertolino after he was reported missing, Coffindaffer believes cops will find him alive but it might take some time. "I believe he’s going to be able to hide in his surroundings," she told Entin. "I think he’s a learned outdoorsman and survivalist and because of that I think he will be able to stay out of law enforcement’s grasp for a while.”
Maureen O’Connell, another former FBI agent, also agreed that cops will likely find Laundrie alive. “I have a feeling that [Laundrie] is going to be found and he is going to be found alive," she told Fox News. “All the information that’s been coming in for weeks now, as you layer it upon yourself, you can start to see all these things coming to fruition.” She added that the case is “filled with one wild goose chase after another."
Meanwhile, ex Marshal Lenny DePaul said he thinks Laundrie is “sleeping with one eye open” as the manhunt for him progresses. “I personally think he could be anywhere. It doesn’t matter. He’s gonna mess up. He’s going to make a mistake," he told the New York Post.
Laundrie's parents Chris and Roberta previously told cops that he told them on September 14 he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida, and never returned. However, lawyer Bertolino later revealed that the parents had given the incorrect date for the alleged "hike." He said that Laundrie's parents last saw him on September 13 and not September 14, according to a statement shared by News Nation Now reporter Brian Entin on Twitter. “The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of [Brian Laundrie's] Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13,” Bertolino reportedly said in a statement to Entin.
2/2— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 5, 2021
with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday September 13."
As detectives continue to investigate the Carlton Reserve to find evidence leading to Laundrie's whereabouts, reality TV star Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman is also leading his own search efforts at the Fort De Soto Park campground. This came after it was reported that the Laundrie family had stayed at the campsite on September 6, days after he returned to Florida.
Chapman said the search was becoming "more dangerous" as the days passed, adding that he's handed over potential evidence to authorities for DNA testing. "Tracking a fugitive is a marathon, not a sprint," a spokesperson for his team told Newsweek on Sunday, October 3. "We are continuing to search for Brian Laundrie. The longer he is on the run, the more dangerous this becomes."