Brian Laundrie may have lied about going to Carlton Reserve, search-and-rescue expert says: 'He could be almost anywhere'

·2 min read
  • The National Association for Search and Rescue's executive director said Laundrie could be anywhere.

  • Laundrie's family, who reported him missing, told police he went to Carlton Reserve.

  • The director said Laundrie may very well have lied to his parents about where he was going.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A search-and-rescue expert told Insider that Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, may have lied to his family about his whereabouts and "could be almost anywhere."

Laundrie has been missing since September 14. His family, who reported him missing on Friday, told police he went to Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature reserve in Sarasota County, Florida.

There's a chance Laundrie may have lied to his family about where he was going, Chris Boyer, the executive director of the National Association for Search and Rescue, said.

"People that are trying not to get caught for something sometimes use people, right? So he may have told his parents that's where he's going," Boyer told Insider. "They may be telling the authorities that in all honesty, but he lied to them."

Boyer added that the fact that Laundrie apparently disappeared three days before his family reported him missing presented a huge challenge for law enforcement.

"There's any number of ways that he could have hitchhiked or somehow found a collaborator to give him a ride somewhere," Boyer said. "He may not even be in Florida. He's had eight days to be on the run right now. He could be almost anywhere."

Police may be looking at Laundrie's digital footprint, Boyer said, including any attempts to contact people from his cellphone since he went missing, as well as any search history that may point to where he could be going.

Laundrie has not been charged with a crime. He was named a person of interest in Petito's missing-person case after he returned from a cross-country road trip without her at the beginning of this month. The FBI has since found Petito's body in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and her death has been deemed a homicide.

Boyer said if Laundrie was in Carlton Reserve, it'd be difficult for police to find him because much of the park is underwater, which makes it difficult for officers to walk around the area. Police will likely use boats and drones to search the reserve, along with on-foot search teams, he said.

The search of Carlton Reserve continued Wednesday, with police bringing in dive teams to search the area. Boyer said the introduction of divers didn't necessarily mean that police were looking for a body; they could also be looking for personal items Laundrie may have dumped in the water.

"It would be a great place to get rid of things that might implicate you in a crime," Boyer said.

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