Why is it so difficult to find Brian Laundrie? Fugitive on the run without phone and wallet
NORTH PORT, FLORIDA: While a federal court in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie in relation to a grand jury indictment for his "activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito," tracking him may be difficult for the police for more reasons than one.
A federal grand jury in Wyoming indicted Laundrie after determining he used “one or more unauthorized devices”, including a debit card and PIN numbers for two bank accounts, to fraudulently obtain more than $1,000 between the dates of August 30 and September 1. Who the card belonged to, has not yet been revealed.
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The FBI alleged that Laundrie "knowingly and with intent to defraud, used one or more unauthorized access devices, namely a Capitol One Bank debit card" and personal identification numbers for two accounts.
A source close to the family of Brian Laundrie told CNN's Chris Cuomo on September 23 that Laundrie left his parents' Florida home without his cell phone and wallet. The attorney for Laundrie's family reportedly contacted the FBI on September 17 indicating they wanted to talk about their son's disappearance. They said they have not seen him since Tuesday, September 14.
He told his parents he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, a roughly 25,000-acre wetlands area in Sarasota County and has not been seen since. Laundrie's family told police he left home with his backpack. In Florida, searchers on Thursday, September 23, reportedly spent a fifth unsuccessful day searching for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve park. The search at the Carlton Reserve park was set to resume Friday.
"I can not give any statement to a timeline at this time. That investigation is being conducted by the FBI," North Port Police Public Information Officer Josh Taylor told CNN. "While this arrest warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms Petito's homicide," FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said.
Petito's remains were found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide in preliminary findings. She was reported missing by her family on September 11.
An attorney for Laundrie's family emphasized in a statement that the warrant was not for Petito's death but related to activities that took place afterward. "It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise," Steve Bertolino said. "The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum."
"If she's hurt or worse, I hope they [Brian Laundrie and family] get what's coming," Gabby Petito's father, Joseph Petito said during an interview with Dr Phill on CBS4 Monday, September 20 afternoon. "My child is nowhere to be found, and I am not getting any answers on where to even start. So don't sit there and tell me about how difficult it is for you because you got reporters on your block."