Kym L. Pasqualini is the founder and former CEO of Nation's Missing Children Organization and National Center for Missing Adults.
While police have been searching the 25-acre Myakahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Sarasota, Florida, speculation that Brian Laundrie, 23, may have escaped to Mexico is now increasing.
As the search for Brian continues, the people on the internet are sharing theories and clues to authorities who are hoping just one tip may lead to the whereabouts of the United States' most well-known fugitive.
Brian is wanted for fraud and in the questioning of the murder of his fiancé Gabby Petito, 22, whose body was found in the Bridge-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on September 19, 2021.
Gabby, a vlogger, and Brian had been on a cross-country sight-seeing trip that had started in July. They had traveled from New York to Utah, and up into Wyoming.
On September 1, 2021, Brian arrived back at his parent’s home in Florida without Gabby but driving her white van. Gabby's parents had been trying to reach the Laundries with no response and reported her missing on September 11. Gabby’s mother last heard from her daughter on August 25.
Several tipsters provided information that led officials to an area in Spread Creek where they said they had seen Gabby’s van parked.
After an exhaustive search of the area, on September 19, 2021, Federal Bureau of Investigation investigators verified Gabby’s body had been found. Autopsy results confirmed her death to be caused by homicide. Further information is pending as to the specific cause of death.
A mysterious makeshift cross made of river rock was also found near the spot where they found Gabby’s body. There is speculation Brian may have been the one who made it before leaving the area.
Interest in the case has not begun to wane. Social media users and amateur sleuths continue to discuss theories of what happened to Brian. Gabby’s case has dominated the news cycle for weeks, with experts and advocates both speaking on the intricacies of the case.
Witnesses have been crucial in the case and have ranged from YouTubers to neighbors, helping police with critical leads.
When Brian arrived back in Florida without Gabby on September 1, his parents had a new Apache slide-on camper in the driveway and were witnessed packing it up by neighbors.
William and Charlene Guthrie live across the street from the Laundries and said they just moved into the community in early summer.
After Brian returned home, William recalled he was doing some yard work and he watched as the Laundries hooked up the white camper to the back of their maroon pickup truck. The Guthries didn’t think much about it as Gabby had not been reported missing yet.
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“I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip. I saw them loading the camper,” William said.
They said Brian and his parents were gone “for the weekend” after packing up.
William added that he found it odd that the parents would go off on a camping trip with their 23-year-old son in such a small camper.
Soon after that, police came to Guthrie’s home and said they were investigating a missing person and they mentioned to investigators that they saw the Laundrie family leave for the weekend.
On Friday, September 17, the Laundries reported Brian missing to the North Port Police Department.
They told officers that they had not seen Brian since September 14, when he left in a Mustang to go hiking in the Myakahatchee Creek Environmental Park. They further claimed, they went to the park looking for their son and picked up the Mustang, bringing it home on September 13.
The Laundrie's story is odd, is it possible Brian had not been home and has been on the run since September 12?
That’s what millions of people are now asking themselves and discussing on social media.
A friend of Gabby’s has said he can survive in the woods, but for long-term survival, others say he would not have gone off-grid in the forests and believe it makes sense he went to Mexico.
Recently, a picture began circulating of a man resembling Brian, who is wearing a white t-shirt and black shorts, sitting at a table at a restaurant in Merida, Mexico.
It is unknown when the picture was taken.
The photograph has gone viral on social media and social media sleuths are sharing the photograph on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
With all the national media and social media exposure, many experts agree Brian cannot hide and will be caught by an aware citizen. It’s just a matter of time.
John Walsh has now joined the pursuit of Brian Laundrie and is confident the public will help solve this case and find Brian.
The former “America’s Most Wanted” host, is now hosting an Investigation Discovery show called “In Pursuit.” Walsh has assisted police with over 1,422 recoveries of fugitives and 61 missing children and is now on the hunt for Brian.
While appearing on Fox News, John Walsh referred to Brian’s parents as the “Dirty Laundries,” and said he believes they helped their son to cover up the event connected to Gabby’s death, including cleaning Gabby’s van and purchasing a camper they left for several days in.
“He scrubbed that van [Gabby’s van],” Walsh told Fox. “I know they got rid of evidence… [Brian Laundrie] was in that camper when the father and mother went out, I would guarantee it. And I’ve been doing this, 33 years.”
“He was in that camper when they made a little trip before [Gabby Petito] was reported missing and they bought him five extra days with that ruse, John Walsh told Fox. “That kid has been throwing red herrings everywhere.”
Walsh has criticized North Port Police for failing to put Brian under surveillance and allowing him to escape even after he was deemed a person of interest.
On Wednesday, September 22, Walsh profiled Brian on his show “In Pursuit” and received over 400 tips on Brian’s whereabouts. Some tipsters said they saw the Laundrie truck drive north up through Alabama toward Texas. Walsh also said the show received several leads from Mexico.
“It’s the public that will catch this guy,” Walsh told Daily Mail. “We need to see this creep brought in and pay for this.”
Walsh encourages anyone that may have seen the Laundrie truck and camper on or about September 12, or know of the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie, to call his show at 1-833-378-7783.
© 2021 Kym L Pasqualini