After authorities found human remains in a Florida reserve while searching for Brian Laundrie, the focus is shifting to his parents, who have never spoken publicly about their son’s disappearance or the disappearance and death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Chris and Roberta Laundrie left their residence in North Port on Wednesday and searched in the Myakkahatchee, which is next to the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve. The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, said, “some articles belonging to Brian were found.”
Later, the FBI announced that human remains were found near the area where the belongings were located. Although there is not yet an official confirmation, Bertolino said there is a strong possibility that the remains are Laundrie.
Meanwhile, questions continue to emerge about Laundrie’s parents, who have been uncooperative with the media and allegedly refused to contact Petito’s parents after she vanished. They also refused to answer any questions about their son, who disappeared on September 13 or 14 after returning home from a cross-country trip without Petito.
“Their initial actions weren’t consistent with folks who were concerned about the well-being of their future daughter-in-law – they didn’t contact law enforcement right away, they lawyered up, they potentially gave their son a week-long head start,” former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Fox News
Rahmani added, however, that since Laundrie’s father told authorities to search in the area on September 17, there is a good chance the parents won’t face charges.
“If what is reported is true, if Brian Laundrie’s dad, in particular, led agents to where his body was found, I don’t expect any type of prosecution to happen,” Neama Rahmani said.
Bertolini said that the Laundries “were always cooperating with [law enforcement] with respect to locating Brian.”
Special agent in charge of the FBI Tampa Division, Michael McPherson, said that the area where the remains were found had been underwater until recently, which made it difficult for searchers.
Former Miami assistant state attorney, Alfredo Garcia, told the outlet that if authorities plan to charge Chris and Roberta Laundrie, the state must prove beyond a doubt that they assisted their son in hiding from the police.
“The state would have to prove, pursuant to the accessory after the fact statute, that they knew about his crime and they intended to make sure or shield him from criminal liability, which I think is going to be very difficult to establish beyond a reasonable doubt.”
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Laundrie was wanted on a felony warrant following the death of Petito. Laundrie and Petito embarked on their cross-country trip in July, but by September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home with Gabby’s van, but without Gabby.
On September 19, authorities found Gabby’s deceased body in a remote area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. According to Teton County coroner, Dr. Blue, Gabby died from strangulation; her death has been listed as a homicide.
Authorities issued the warrant for Laundrie after he allegedly used a Capitol One Bank debit card without permission following Gabby’s death. Laundrie is said to have used the card between August 30 and September 1, “knowingly and with intent to defraud.”
Laundrie’s parents insisted all along that they have no clue where he is, according to what they told police. They claimed Laundrie left their residence with a backpack on and headed to the Carlton Reserve. They reported him missing four days later.
Check back for updates.
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