Florida police and federal investigators have been searching Florida’s Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of the late Gabby Petito. But could Laundrie still be alive after all these weeks?
Laundrie and Petito went on a cross-country road trip this summer. But only Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida, driving Petito’s white van, on Sept. 1. Ten days later, Petito’s family reported their daughter missing.
Days later, on Monday, Sept. 13, Laundrie reportedly left his home to go on a hike. It wasn’t until the end of the week, on Sept. 17, that the Laundrie family reported him missing. Authorities found his car parked at the Carlton Reserve. A search has been underway there since.
Laundrie’s whereabouts remain unknown. He has still a person of interest in the Petito case. And the U.S. District Court of Wyoming has issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie over the “use of unauthorized access device” related to activities after the death of Petito.
Much of the search has been focused on the Carlton Reserve. If he’s there, he would have been living in the reserve for close to one month.
Robert Urban, founder and chief instructor of the Urban Survival Academy, told CNN that it’s unlikely someone could survive in the Carlton Reserve that long unless they have high-level survival skills.
“Florida’s climate is very, very difficult,” Urban told CNN. “I’m an expert with plenty of experience, and it would be everything that I could do to survive for (more) than three weeks. Someone with no experience, you cannot be lucky and survive in that sort of climate.”
In fact, Laundrie would be facing “water moccasins, hogs, bears and alligators,” according to CNN. There have even been panther sightings in the reserve, too.
The anxiety of evading authorities would only make survival harder, experts told CNN.
“When you’re tired, you’re not as defensive, you’re not as vigilant as you should be,” Urban said.
But the search will continue, and it might not end soon. North Port police officer Josh Taylor told NewsNationNow.com that “we could be searching that Carlton Reserve and nearby lands for a long, long time.”