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Brian Laundrie family’s lawyer reveals what police got wrong in their investigation

A major development in the Brian Laundrie’s investigation has the Laundrie family’s lawyer questioning everything

Police in North Port, Florida, have been searching for Brian Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve.
A major development in the Brian Laundrie investigation has the Laundrie family’s lawyer questioning everything.
North Port Police Department

Brian Laundrie’s family lawyer has raised concern about the investigation into Laundrie and his whereabouts, specifically about what happened to Laundrie’s red Mustang.

What happened to Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie?

Laundrie and Petito went on a cross-country road trip this summer, but only Laundrie returned home to Florida on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11. She was later found dead in a Wyoming national forest on Sept. 19. A coroner confirmed she died by strangulation.

Laundrie was reported missing on Sept. 17. He was believed to have left his home on Sept. 14, in a red Mustang. His family later changed its story, saying he left on Sept. 13. Laundrie was found dead on Oct. 20 in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which is a part of the Carlton Reserve.

How did Brian Laundrie die?

  • The Laundrie family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, said in a statement to NBC News that “no manner or cause of death was determined” once the autopsy finished.

What happened to Brian Laundrie’s Mustang?

Florida investigators said this week that they mistook Brian Laundrie’s mom, Roberta Laundrie, for Brian Laundrie days after Brian Laundrie’s finance, Gabby Petito, was reported missing.

  • “They are built kind of similarly,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN affiliate WINK. “No case is perfect”

Authorities said they saw Brian Laundrie drive away from his home on Sept. 13 in a red Mustang. But, two days later, the Mustang came home from wherever it had been. Authorities said they believed at the time that Brian Laundrie had come home, which made it surprising for them when the Laundrie family reported Brian missing on Sept. 17.

  • Police said they believe Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, drove the car home, CNN reports.
  • “I believe it was his mom, who was wearing a baseball cap,” Taylor said. “They had returned from the park with that Mustang.
  • “So, who does that, right?” the police spokesperson said, per CNN. “Like, if you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re going to bring his car back to the home — so, it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there. So, the individual getting out with a baseball cap, we thought was Brian.”

Did Florida police mess up in Brian Laundrie’s search?

But Bertolino said Tuesday that police had put a citation on the red Mustang on Sept. 14, which had been spotted at the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre campground in Florida.

  • “Everyone makes mistakes,” Bertolino said, per CNN. “But Brian and Roberta are not ‘built’ the same. Moreover, it was (North Port police) that put the ticket on the Mustang at the park and if they saw Brian leave on Monday in the Mustang, which is news to me, then they should have been watching the Mustang and the park starting on Monday and they would have known it was Chris and Roberta that retrieved the Mustang from the park.
  • “Now to be clear, none this may have made a difference with respect to Brian’s life but it certainly would have prevented all of the false accusations leveled by so many against Chris and Roberta with respect to ‘hiding’ Brian or otherwise financing an ‘escape,’” Bertolino added.