A North Port police officer has expressed doubts about Brian Laundrie’s claims that he left their home and went to a nature preserve, as the search for Laundrie continues.
In an interview with NewsNation reporter Brian Entin on Friday, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said there is ‘a lot of oddness’ about Laundrie’s parents claims and admitted that part of their story ‘just didn’t make sense.’
He said that the North Port police are working with the FBI to find Laundrie, who returned home from a cross-country trip with his fiancée Gabby Petito on September 1 without her.
Laundrie, 23, was then reported missing himself on September 17, with his parents telling police he went to the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned.
Two days later, authorities found Petito’s body at a campsite near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide.
In an interview with NewsNation reporter Brian Entin on Friday, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said there is ‘a lot of oddness’ about Laundrie’s parents claims and admitted that part of their story ‘just didn’t make sense’
During the interview, he questioned why Laundrie’s parents would say he went missing on a Monday but would not report him missing until Friday
Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s parents, last week changed the date they said their son went missing
Highlights from today¿s North Port Police interview:
-police are ¿working to figure out¿ how Laundrie vanished and say ¿no investigation is perfect.¿
-nothing related to Brian has been found in the swamp.
-they are calling circumstances around parents story ¿a lot of oddness.¿ pic.twitter.com/chkY9HHv58
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 9, 2021
In the interview on Friday, Entin asks Taylor how the police lost track of Laundrie as authorities throughout the country searched for Petito.
‘I was here when the police chief had the press conference and said “We have our eyes on Brian Laundrie, we know where he is, and we’re not going to tell the media, but we know where he is,”‘ Entin began.
‘And then I think it was the next day that I think he was missing. I mean how did that happen?’
‘I think you have a situation where you’re working on the best that you have – and I think what I can tell you is that … we weren’t lying, we weren’t trying to say something to anybody, we were holding a press conference to be transparent about what was going on,’ Taylor replied.
‘I mean what would be in our benefit to say it if it weren’t true,’ he said, noting ‘no investigation’s perfect.’
‘We were doing everything within the law that we could with the facts and the circumstances at that time,’ Taylor added.
At that point, Entin asked if Taylor has ‘any idea how he got away,’ to which Taylor replied: ‘That is something we’re working to figure out.’
‘I think certainly what the family has told us is that he drove out to the park and walked out into the woods,’ Taylor said. ‘I think that is certainly on the table.’
But then Entin asked if there is any reason not to believe Laundrie’s parents, to which Taylor said: ‘At this point, everything that I’ve learned and we figured out – I don’t know what to believe anymore.
‘I think it’s certainly possible that they’re expressing what they know, but we’ll see.
‘I mean this is an ongoing investigation that will continue to evolve, and you know, I think you saw … that the family was out there helping in the search.
‘I think, you know, it’s a sign of them trying to work with investigators, so I hope that is the beginning of maybe more they know.’
Entin then pushed Taylor for more information, pointing out that his parents reportedly brought his Ford Mustang back from the 25,000-acre reserve.
‘It doesn’t make sense in some ways,’ Entin said.
‘I agree with that,’ Taylor said, bluntly. ‘I mean we’ve said since the beginning there was a lot of oddness here, a lot of things that didn’t make sense.
‘I mean if your son walks out there, now they’re saying on a Monday, to report that on a Friday and then to be confused on what day that was – there are a lot of things that are odd there.’
Entin also asked if he thinks Brian Laundrie is still alive.
‘It’s possible,’ Taylor said. ‘I think it would not surprise me if he is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s not.
‘I mean I guess if we had to put odds on it, I’d say that it’s probably pretty close,’ he said, adding: ‘We’ve gotten into an issue by thinking one thing, and I don’t think it does any good to say I think he’s alive or dead.
‘I think it’s certainly possible one way or the other,’ he said.
Laundrie, 23, was reported missing on September 17, with his parents telling police he went to the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned
He returned to his North Port, Florida home from a cross-country trip with his fiancée Gabby Petito, left, on September 1 without her
Petito’s body was discovered at a campsite near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide two days after he went missing
But some survivalists have questioned Laundrie’s ability to survive in a nature preserve for over three weeks, as dozens of officers from the FBI, North Port Police Department, Florida Wildlife Commission, several sheriff’s offices and K9 search and rescue teams scour the area for him.
Last month, the North Port police said in a statement: ‘The Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times. It’s currently [waist] deep in water in many areas.
‘This is dangerous work for the search crews, and they are wading through gator and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.’
The area also features water moccasin snakes, hogs, bears and alligators, with panther sightings reported in the past.
Robert Urban, founder and chief instructor at the Urban Survival Academy, said it is unlikely someone who is not professionally trained in survival skills would be able to survive in that environment.
‘Florida’s climate is very, very difficult,’ he told CNN. ‘I’m an expert with plenty of experience, and it would be everything that I could do to survive [more] than three weeks.
‘Someone with no experience, you cannot be lucky and survive in that sort of environment.’
He added that Laundrie would likely not be operating in the best mindset to avoid these creatures due to the anxiety of trying to evade authorities and survive.
‘When you’re tired, you’re not as defensive, you’re not as vigilant as you should be,’ he said, with Jason Marsteiner, founder and president of The Survival University adding: ‘Twenty-five days in that area is extremely tough.
‘I wouldn’t want to do it and I’ve got jungle training, I’ve got mountain training.’
It may be possible, though, if he had ways to disinfect the water, gather food, cook and protect himself from the weather, Dave Canterbury told Erin Burnett on Thursday but he would likely need fire to do so.
But Taylor said authorities have found no evidence of campsites, as well as no evidence of a body.
On Thursday, Laundrie’s father, Christopher, joined authorities in the search for his son
He spent several hours at the park before returning to his North Port home
He was there to point out any of Laundrie’s favorite trails and places to visit
Meanwhile, Laundrie’s father, Christopher, joined authorities in the search for his son on Thursday, with the family lawyer, Steven Bertolino claiming he offered his help to the FBI by showing them ‘trails and places’ he was known to frequent.’
He was reportedly asked to join the search Thursday just days after inconsistencies came to light in his and his wife Roberta’s version of events of when they last saw their son.
Their attorney last week said the couple now ‘believe’ Laundrie went missing on September 13 – one day earlier than they first claimed – meaning he had a four-day headstart on authorities as they failed to report him missing until September 17.
They claim he was heading into the Carlton Reserve and was carrying a backpack at the time.
‘He reads books about it and it wouldn’t surprise me if he could last out there a very long time.’
Christopher had left his North Port home and arrived at the park near Venice – close to the family’s home in North Port – before 10am Thursday.
There, he waited for officers and park rangers to open the gate for the reserve which is closed to the public while the manhunt is underway.
The 62-year-old then spent several hours joining FBI agents to point out any favorite trails or spots his son frequented in the reserve, which has been the focus of the manhunt for Laundrie for the last three weeks.
Wearing a gray T-shirt, cargo pants and clutching a plastic carrier which appeared to contain documents, or perhaps a map and food, Laundrie spent hours in the park with about five FBI officers and was dripping sweat in the Florida heat.
He took breaks to drink water on the outskirts of the park along the road.
A police helicopter was also flying overhead to assist in the search.
Investigators had brought in Christopher to help guide them along the trails Brian was known to frequent.
However, his guidance bore little fruit as officials made ‘no discoveries’ and Christopher returned home, where Roberta, 55, was believed to have been waiting for him.
The couple have barely left their home since their son vanished, with a walker last week claiming to have seen Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
Police are investigating that sighting too.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the family said that Laundrie’s parents believe ‘that is exactly where he is located,’ CNN’s Chris Cuomo reported.
Attorney Steven Bertolino said: ‘There were no discoveries [on Thursday] but the effort was helpful to all.’
Christopher returned home earlier in the afternoon with dry shoes and clothing, suggesting he remained in a vehicle while guiding officers through the swampy land.
He will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as agents finish investigating the new campsite, his attorney said.
‘Chris Laundrie is assisting Law Enforcement today in the search for Brian,’ Bertolino told DailyMail.com.
‘Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve.
‘Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better.
‘The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well but the parents have been cooperating since the search began.’