BRIAN Laundrie’s parents may have armed their fugitive son with a gun and are “helping” him dodge the cops, former America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh has claimed.
The prolific missing person’s investigator made the accusations while appearing on Gabby Petito: ID Special Report, which aired on the ID channel to try to piece together the Gabby Petito’s strangulation homicide after her remains were found in a Wyoming campground on September 19.
‘ARMED’ AND ‘ALIVE’
“I believe he’s out there with the aid of his parents,” Walsh explained when asked if Brian, Gabby Petito’s 23-year-old ex-fiancé, was still alive.
Walsh also blames the fugitive’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, for helping their son elude the pursuit by law enforcement.
“They’re actively aiding and abetting his escape and they’re helping him stay out there,” he said.
He added that Brian may be armed.
“I believe they might have given him a gun,” Walsh said. “And I would hate to see someone else become a victim of this guy. “
FOUR WEEK SEARCH FOR BRIAN
The FBI and local police and sheriffs are actively looking for Brian, who was last seen on September 14 by his parents who told authorities he never returned after leaving their North Port home to go hiking at the Carlton Nature Reserve.
The Laundrie family stayed at the campsite there on September 6 – days after Brian cut short the couple’s summer road trip together by two months.
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Investigators have deployed drones, hound dogs and all-terrain vehicles at the alligator, snake and bug infested swampland of the reserve.
Bounty hunters have also joined the search, with Dog the Bounty Hunter trying to find Brian further afield at the much smaller 1,136 acre Fort de Soto island campground.
Initially, the Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino stated: “Brian left that phone at home the day he went for a hike in the preserve on September 14, 2021 and the FBI now has that phone.”
That key date was amended to September 13.
“The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” Bertolino said.
“Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday Sept. 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday Sept. 13.“
BRIAN’S DAD JOINS SEARCH
The pursuit to bring Brian into custody hasn’t waned since a manhunt was launched last month.
The father spent a little over three hours at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida.
Brian was named a “person of interest” four days days before his 22-year-old ex-fiancee, Gabby, was found dead in Grand Teton Park in Wyoming.
The van-life couple cut short their summer transatlantic road trip.
Gabby was last heard from August 30 when her mother Nichole Schmidt received a text which read: “No signal in Yosemite.”
Brian has not been named a suspect in her death, but is wanted only for fraud for allegedly using her card after she went missing.
CORONER: GABBY WAS STRANGLED
The Teton County coroner and FBI confirmed remains found on September 19 was Gabby.
On September 21, 2021, the Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that Petito died as a result of a homicide.
On September 23, the FBI Denver Field Office issued an arrest warrant for Brian.
Two days later, a warrant was issued for Brian’s arrest after investigators claimed he had “used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito’s death.”
The FBI issued an arrest warrant, accusing Brian of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1 that belonged to Gabby.
A federal grand jury charged Laundrie with “knowingly with intent to defraud” using a Capital One debit card in the amount of at least $1,000.
On Tuesday, the official autopsy report was released by Teton County revealing that Gabby’s cause of death was strangulation.
Special Agent Michael Schneider issued a formal statement asking for anyone with information on where her fiancé Laundrie is to contact them immediately.
“The FBI’s commitment to justice is the forefront of each and every investigation,” Schneider said. “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Mr. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions.”
It continued: “Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”
‘GABBY’S DEBIT CARD’
The family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, acknowledged after the Teton County’s official cause of death was released, that Brian committed unauthorized use of a debit card that belonged to Gabby.
“Gabby Petito’s death at such a young age is a tragedy,” read Bertolino’s statement.
“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise.
“At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the fraud charge pending against him.”
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