Is Brian Laundrie hiding in Appalachian Trail? Experts say he'd die in Carlton Reserve

'People have been making a big deal of the alligators and the snakes,' survival expert Mark Burrow said, 'But it's dehydration that's the real danger'

                            Is Brian Laundrie hiding in Appalachian Trail? Experts say he'd die in Carlton Reserve
Gabby Petito was engaged to Brian Laundrie (Instagram/Brian Laundrie)

NORTH PORT, FLORIDA: As the search for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of deceased 22-year-old Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito continues, theories about where he might be at present and where he might be heading towards continue to capture everyone’s imaginations. As per one report, one such speculation suggests Laundrie "may be heading to the Appalachian Trail".

On Tuesday, September 21, the FBI announced the body found in Grand Teton National Park over the weekend has been positively identified as Petito. The Teton county coroner, Brent Blue, determined her manner of death was a homicide but did not disclose a cause of death pending final autopsy results, officials said on Tuesday. 


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Brian Laundrie seen scouting area where Gabby Petito's body was found on Aug 26, 27 and 28


Following this, the lawyer for the Laundrie family issued a brief statement. "May Gabby rest in peace," Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said. Petito’s family too released a brief statement. "I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve," lawyer Richard Stafford said, referring to Petito’s mother, father, stepfather and stepmother. "We will be making a statement when Gabby is home. I will contact you to arrange a time and location."

The FBI also requested for anyone with information about Laundrie’s role in Petito’s death to contact the agency. The “person of interest”, after initially refusing to cooperate with cops, disappeared. His parents told FBI agents they last saw him a week ago, when he told them he was planning to hike alone in the Carlton Reserve wilderness area, near North Port, Florida. North Port police have searched and continue to search the 24,000-acre area.

As per Bill Warner, a private investigator, the 23-year-old “elite hiker, outdoorsman, on the run in the woods, may be headed for the Appalachian Trail.” The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a marked hiking trail extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles long. Warner also suggested, “Brian Laundrie going all out ‘Eric Rudolph style’ who eluded the FBI for 5 years while hiding in the woods.”


From 1996 to 1998, bombs exploded four times in Atlanta and Birmingham, killing two and injuring hundreds. These were carried out by Eric Robert Rudolph, who later became known as the Olympic Park bomber. On May 31, 2003, Rudolph was arrested. He pled guilty and is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole. As per the FBI, “A skilled outdoorsman, Rudolph had managed to elude law enforcement officials for five years while hiding out in the mountains after bombing four sites in Georgia and Alabama.”

It is uncertain where Laundrie is right now and what his plans are. Many have speculated that he might be heading towards either Mexico or Cuba to escape justice. Neither theory, however, has any concrete evidence to support it as of yet. But wherever he is, it is somewhat unlikely that he’s in the Carlton Reserve, a place that the police have combed, but one that’s also hostile. 

If Laundrie actually is in the Florida wilderness, a survival expert in Sarasota said he's either dead or in very bad shape by now. “If he's down there in the Carlton Reserve, he's living in hell,” survival expert Mark Burrow said. Burrow, who teaches people how to survive in the wild with nothing but a knife, said with heavy rain in recent days, starting a fire will be nearly impossible. It's also the wrong season for foraging edible plants, Burrow said. “People have been making a big deal of the alligators and the snakes,” Burrow said. “But it's dehydration that's the real danger.”

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