Brian Laundrie is 'sleeping with one eye open' and will be caught ALIVE, says ex-marshal and FBI agents
BRIAN Laundrie is “sleeping with one eye open” and will be found alive by cops, according to a former marshal and FBI agent.
Gabby Petito’s fiancé, 23, was reported missing by his parents on September 17 – days after allegedly telling them that he was going for a hike in a Florida nature reserve.
Cops, FBI detectives, and bloodhounds have scoured the 25,000-acre alligator and snake-infested Carlton Nature reserve for more than a week but Laundrie remains at large.
Reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is leading a search in Fort de Soto after receiving a tip-off, while there have been alleged sightings in other parts of Florida and Alabama. Most potential leads have led to dead ends.
Lenny DePaul, a former US Marshal, believes Laundrie is “sleeping with one eye open” even though he thinks cops are “chasing a ghost”.
He told the New York Post: “I personally think he could be anywhere. It doesn’t matter. He’s gonna mess up. He’s going to make a mistake.”
Maureen O’Connell, formerly of the FBI, believes Laundrie will be found alive.
She told Fox News: “I have a feeling that [Laundrie] is going to be found and he is going to be found alive.
“All the information that’s been coming in for weeks now, as you layer it upon yourself, you can start to see all these things coming to fruition.”
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Cops continue to search in the Carlton Reserve but the operation is expected to be "scaled back" in the coming days.
Reality TV star Dog, real name Duane Chapman, says he has received more than 2,000 potential leads as he joined the search to find Laundrie last weekend.
He told NewsMax Thursday that he hasn’t been sharing his tips with cops and FBI detectives after he was accused by critics of joining the search for “publicity”.
Dog said: “After 45 years, I don’t call the police, they’re usually called on me – so I don’t know what they’re doing."
The bounty hunter remains under fire from online sleuths, social media users, and private investigators.
Bill Warner, who runs a PI service in Florida, alleged that Dog is guilty of an “obstruction of justice”.
Warner told The Sun that Dog’s involvement in the case is “outrageous”.
Dog is investigating the campground in Fort De Soto after it emerged that Laundrie had stayed there with his parents.
The TV star’s daughter Lyssa Chapman said Dog found personal items he believes may belong to Laundrie at the campground on Tuesday.
Chapman didn't offer a description of the item's her father reportedly found.
Dog has speculated that Laundrie may be moving from island to island in a canoe.
He also claims that he is close to catching the 23-year-old, noting that it's "very easy to hide out" at the rural campsite.
HUNTING FOR CLUES
Dog and his team discovered a fresh Monster Energy Ultra Gold can at the site deep in the woods of Shell Island near Fort De Soto. The find has not been confirmed to be Laundrie’s.
Meanwhile, FBI detectives were pictured at the Laundrie family home at North Port as they “collected personal items for K9s to track Brian’s scent”.
Attorney Steven Bertolino, who is representing the Laundries’, said: “The FBI is at the Laundrie home today to collect some personal items belonging to Brian that will assist the canines in their search for Brian. There is nothing more to this.”
Meanwhile, agents are said to be investigating reports of a burner phone bought on the day that Laundrie went missing.
Detectives are said to be looking into security footage taken at a store near his parent's home in North Port, Florida.
A source told TMZ that Brian purchased a phone at the AT&T store on September 14 with an "older woman."
In a statement to The Sun, the store said: "We're not confirming or denying anything, and we're not making any statements, thank you, and have a great day."
The search for Laundrie continues to intensify – weeks after he returned to Florida.
The 23-year-old returned to the state alone on September 1 without Gabby – who he had been traveling with on a cross-country road trip.
They toured the American midwest in their white Ford transit van, visiting canyon ranges in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
Cops seized the camper van on the weekend of September 11 as they scoured the vehicle for clues – the same weekend that Gabby was reported missing by her family.
Gabby’s remains were found in a Wyoming national park on September 19 and a preliminary autopsy revealed the manner of her death to be a homicide.
But, the vlogger's official cause of death has not been disclosed as cops struggle to find clues from her body, experts fear.
Joseph Giacalone, a criminal professor at the City University of New York, told Insider: "If she’s strangled, the evidence is going to be limited. In the respect that you’re not going to have blood everywhere and, you know, hair fibers or all that other stuff.”
While criminal justice expert George Kirkham said Gabby's body may have become "very skeletonized" over time.
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