Brian Laundrie 'had weeks to disturb evidence in the van & crime scene' if he killed Gabby Petito, DNA expert says
BRIAN Laundrie had weeks to “disturb evidence” at the crime scene if he killed Gabby Petito, a DNA expert says.
Gabby's body was found in a Wyoming campground on September 19 – weeks after she was last seen with the 23-year-old.
It's believed Gabby was last seen alive on August 27 at The Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson before she vanished.
Laundrie was identified as a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance and death. He was never named a suspect.
Paul Belli, of the International Homicide Investigations Association, told The Sun: “Here’s a person that had weeks to handle or do things to disturb scenes such as the van.
“I would be looking at the scenes. Cops may be looking at the actual scene of the crime. They may not have that. I don’t know.”
Belli said investigators will have carried out a lot of “forensic processing” on the young couple’s Ford transit van that they traveled in.
It has been several weeks since Gabby’s cause of death was revealed by coroners.
Teton County coroner Brent Blue said the YouTuber died from strangulation and her body had been left in the wilderness for three to four weeks.
It was reported that the vlogger wasn’t pregnant at the time of her death.
Belli fears that investigators may not fully know what happened in Gabby’s final moments.
The expert said: “I think they’ll get a lot of information and have a circumstantial idea of what actually occurred but there’s a good possibility that they may never know every detail.”
Travel vlogger Jenn Bethune claims she saw Gabby’s van on the evening that she was reportedly last seen.
Bethune told ABC’s 20/20: We both got goosebumps all over our body. We knew it was her van as soon as the footage passed by it.”
She and her husband Kyle noticed the vehicle parked on a dirt track.
Jenn recalled that the van appeared to be left alone and lifeless.
The vlogger added: “It didn’t look like anyone was there.”
The alleged sighting came just hours after Gabby and Laundrie were spotted in the Merry Piglets café.
It had been widely reported that Laundrie was involved in an “explosive argument” with a waitress at the restaurant.
Tourist Nina Celie Angelo claimed she witnessed the “incident” and in a Fox interview alleged that Gabby’s fiancé was “agitated”.
While she said she couldn't hear what words were being exchanged between Laundrie and the woman, she believed the spat was either over the bill or about money.
Angelo described Laundrie's body language as "aggressive" and said that he left and returned to the restaurant around four times.
She alleged that at one point Gabby came into the restaurant and apologized for Laundrie’s behavior.
Angelo told Fox: “It’s crazy because it wasn’t just like we passed them on the street – it was a full-blown incident.”
Meanwhile, an unnamed manager reportedly told NewsNationNow journalist Brian Entin that “no one threw a fit” in the café.
But, she claimed that the young couple left the café without paying.
A server reportedly followed Gabby and Laundrie outside and the pair paid the bill on the street.
Entin said the manager told him that Gabby and Laundrie re-entered the restaurant where the YouTuber tried to get her money back. The café refused to refund the vlogger.
The fugitive returned to Florida alone without his Gabby – days after the alleged incident in Wyoming.
Laundrie was reported missing on September 17 after allegedly telling his parents Chris and Roberta that he was going for a hike in the 25,000-acre snake-infested Carlton Reserve.
The nature reserve – located around 15 miles from the Laundrie family home in North Port – is also home to alligators, wild pigs, and the Florida panther.
It's reported that Laundrie left the family home on September 13.
After a near five-week manhunt, partial remains were found near possessions believed to belong to the fugitive including a notebook and a backpack.
A cause of death has not been revealed as autopsy results came back inconclusive, fueling speculation among web sleuths.
Some internet detectives claim Laundrie may have been eaten after “alligator bones” were apparently discovered close to where cops found the remains.
Forensic anthropologist Dr Erin Kimmerle, of South Florida, said Laundrie may have died of a drug overdose.
She told The Sun: “I think it's very possible they will find a cause of death if there were injuries or some type of trauma that affected the skeleton.
"If there is soft tissue available for toxicology that could be insightful in cases of a drug overdose.
"But most likely the scene, evidence at the scene, and the skeletal injuries themselves will help lead to the cause of death."
Laundrie’s exact date of death also remains unknown.
North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor told PEOPLE "there is a very good possibility" he died on September 13 – the same day he was going for a hike but never returned.
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