John Walsh says he thinks Brian Laundrie is hiding out in Mexico after getting help from family

Former America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh says he thinks fugitive Brian Laundrie may have escaped to Mexico with the help of his parents, and that they may have given him a gun.

The manhunt continues for Gabby Petito‘s former fiancé continues after a coroner announced she was strangled. 

Walsh made his predictions about Laundrie’s whereabouts during Wednesday night’s airing of ‘Gabby Petito: ID Special Report’ on pay television network ID. 

He said the fugitive’s parents, Christopher and Roberta, could have helped him slip across the border unnoticed, as thousands of migrants are also doing.

‘It’s a great time to be heading south, because [there are] thousands of refugees,’ he said.

‘He could walk across the border naked with his hair on fire, and nobody would notice him. I think that’s maybe where he’s hiding — and somebody might be helping him,’ he added. 

 Walsh also suggested that Laundrie may have been given a weapon by his family.

He said: ‘I believe they might have given him a gun. I would hate to see someone else become a victim of this guy. 

‘But it’s still a wide open investigation and this guy could be anywhere.’

The Laundrie family have insisted they do not know where their son is. 

Laundrie, 23, has missing for a month, with his parents telling investigators they last saw him on September 13.

On September 1 he returned home early from the cross-country road trip he was on with Petito in a white camper van.

Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance and death, which has been ruled a homicide.

John Walsh says he thinks Brian Laundrie escaped to Mexico as the manhunt for Gabby Petito’s former fiancé continues

Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito's disappearance and death, which was ruled a homicide

Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance and death, which was ruled a homicide

Walsh, the former host of America’s Most Wanted, and current host of ‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ on ID says that his show’s hotline has gotten calls from people who believe they’ve sighted Laundrie, with some tips more reliable than others. 

‘We’ve got people from all over the world calling saying that Martians got him and took him to another planet, and he’s inside hiding in an alligator in a Louisiana swamp,’ Walsh said. 

But other callers have provided more ‘solid’ tips regarding sightings in the Bahamas where Laundrie could have gone to via a ferry from Florida.

But Walsh says he thinks the 23-year-old is hiding out in Mexico and got help from his family, who he dubbed the ‘dirty Laundries.’

‘We’ve had over a thousand solid tips to the ‘In Pursuit’ hotline. Most of them are about my theory of his father driving him to the Mexican border and letting him go through Mexico,’ Walsh said. 

He added: ‘I believe he’s out there with the aid of his parents.

‘They’re actively aiding and abetting his escape and they’re helping him stay out there’

Law enforcement have not suggested that Laundrie’s family are in any way involved with his disappearance. 

Walsh also says a former friend of Petito and Laundrie’s told him that its possible  Laundrie is hiding out on the Appalachian trail because he has previously bragged about surviving on the trail ‘for three months out of a backpack.’   

The official search for Laundrie by North Port police and the FBI has focused on the massive alligator-infested Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, after his parents said he had left their home for a hike there and they hadn’t seen or heard from him since.

But Walsh is not convinced, and claims it was a ploy by the family to throw investigators off the scent.

He said: ‘It was a red herring. They bought him five more days before they started looking for him. He was never in the swamp. He can be anywhere. I think he headed to Mexico.’ 

John Walsh says he thinks Brian Laundrie escaped to Mexico and has gotten tips he is hiding on the Appalachian trails the manhunt for the 23-year-old continues

 John Walsh says he thinks Brian Laundrie escaped to Mexico and has gotten tips he is hiding on the Appalachian trails the manhunt for the 23-year-old continues

The Teton County coroner announced just yesterday that Petito died of manual strangulation.

Her body has been released to a local mortuary for cremation, and her parents are expecting to return home to Long Island, New York, this weekend with her ashes.

Last week Chris Laundrie joined FBI agents in the search for his son at in the vast 24,565-acre Carlton Reserve where there a supposed ‘fresh campsite’ was found. 

But the discovery was denied by investigators and the joint search proved fruitless.

The Laundrie family did not join the FBI in the manhunt in any of their searches after the search with the fugitive’s father came up short on October 7.

North Port Police in Florida revealed the next day that the sole person of interest in Petito’s homicide had been placed under surveillance in the days before he went on the run.

Police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN Laundrie was being closely watched by authorities to the best of their abilities, at a time when Petito was still classed as missing and not dead and when a warrant had not yet been issued for Laundrie’s arrest.

Taylor provided no further details about the extent of this surveillance or how Laundrie was then able to slip through the net.

It is not clear if investigators ever had proof of his presence at the Laundrie family home in North Port, from when Petito was reported missing on September 11 to when his family revealed Laundrie had vanished on September 17.

Investigators have confirmed they never spoke to, or saw, Laundrie that day as his family lawyered-up and denied police entry to their home to speak with him. 

Instead, the timeline of his disappearance appears to largely rest on accounts given by Laundrie’s parents Christopher and Roberta.

Gabby Petito’s body is released by coroner to mortuary for cremation as her dad travels to Wyoming to bring her ashes home to New York

Gabby Petito‘s body has been released by the Wyoming coroner to a local mortuary for cremation, a day after officials announced that the van-life blogger had been strangled to death.

Her father Joseph Petito traveled to Wyoming on Wednesday to collect her ashes and bring them home to New York, Fox reported. 

Brian Laundrie, 23, is still the only named person of interest in Petito’s death, which was ruled as homicide by strangulation yesterday. 

Laundrie himself vanished on September 17, almost three weeks after returning home to Florida without his girlfriend.

The Teton County Coroner’s Office has released DNA to the police, according to WPBF 25

And the suspect could already have been named behind closed doors, a former FBI agent told the network. 

‘That piece of information, I would bet, has gone into grand jury – there is now a sealed indictment for the apprehension for the person who is responsible for the death of Gabby Petito,’ former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan told WPBF 25.

‘This can of course include him [Brian Laundrie] as being the attacker or responsible person for causing Gabby Petito’s death or it could exclude him.’

Gabby Petito's father Joseph (right) is reportedly in Wyoming collecting the ashes of his daughter (left) after the Teton County Coroner's Office released her body to a local mortuary

Gabby Petito’s father Joseph (right) is reportedly in Wyoming collecting the ashes of his daughter (left) after the Teton County Coroner’s Office released her body to a local mortuary

He believes it is unlikely the suspect’s name will be released until after an arrest is made.  

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue released Petito’s cause of death as strangulation, but could not release any more information due to Wyoming law. 

Petito’s body was discovered in a campsite close to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 – eight days after her family reported her missing, and 22 days after the last reported sighting of her alive on August 27.

The coroner refused to reveal several details about the autopsy’s findings including: the condition of Petito’s body, if her body was buried, whether any drugs were found in her system and whether she was killed in the same spot her body was found.

He did confirm that Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death – after internet sleuths circulated that theory online in recent days. Blue added that DNA samples had been taken by law enforcement as the investigation into her murder and who was responsible continues.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg said Laundrie’s DNA might not appear on the samples found on Petito’s body due to the time her body spent exposed to the elements, but other evidence like cell phone records could still be used against him, according to WPFB’s Carbonare. 

Her body was found three to four weeks after her death, the coroner said.  

Laundrie’s family, however, have been refusing to answer questions and are still citing the Reserve as the last place Brian was seen.

Brian Laundrie’s father refused to answer questions as he mowed his lawn around a makeshift memorial for his fugitive son’s late fiancée Wednesday morning – 19 hours after a coroner announced Gabby Petito cause of death. 

Timeline of Gabby Petito case

  • July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
  • August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
  • Aug. 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’   
  • Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Aug. 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip 
  • Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
  • Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
  • Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes 
  • Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground; Witnesses say they saw a ‘commotion’ with the couple at Merry Piglets Tex-mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming – if accurate, this appears to be the last known sighting of Petito 
  • Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
  • Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
  • Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
  • Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
  • Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
  • Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
  • Sept. 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
  • Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Laundrie’s parents claim on September 17 that Laundrie left his parents’ home for a hike this day and they hadn’t seen from him since 
  • Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
  • Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
  • Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
  • Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
  • Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
  • Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve 
  • Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13 
  • Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando 
  • Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie 
  • Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children 
  • Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left 
  • Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods 
  • Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home 
  • Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did 
  • Oct. 2: A hiker along the Appalachian Trail claims to have seen Laundrie near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina 
  • Oct. 3: Investigators searched the area on the Appalachian trail for any signs that Laundrie had been there  
  • Oct. 4: Laundrie’s sister told protestors outside her home that her family has been ignoring her after they rebuked her story and that she does not know where her brother is
  • Oct 5: Laundrie’s sister appeared on Good Morning America to say she would turn her brother in if she knew where he is; The Laundrie attorney says his parents now ‘believe’ he went on the run one day earlier than they first claimed (September 13 not 14) meaning he had a four-day headstart before they reported him missing to authorities; The attorney also says Laundrie flew from Utah to Florida on Aug. 17 without Petito to clear out a storage unit then returned on Aug. 23; A hiker reports a sighting of a person he believed to be Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail near the Tennessee border
  • Oct 6: Petito’s parents and step-parents appear together on Dr. Phil to discuss their daughter’s death. Her family paints a vivid picture of the scene where her body was found and encourages Laundrie to turn himself in; The Laundrie family lawyer says his father Christopher went to look for him on the night of Sept. 13 when he didn’t return from the park
  • Oct. 7: Laundrie’s father Christopher joins FBI agents on the search for his son at the Carlton Reserve but the search brings up no clues; FBI says it is also investigating 11 alleged sightings of Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail near the North Carolina-Tennessee border; investigators confirmed neither Petito or Laundrie’s phones were found in the couple’s campervan
  • Oct. 8: North Port Police spokesperson says there is a ‘lot of oddness’ with Laundrie’s parents handling of the situation and that ‘a lot of things that didn’t make sense’ about their version of events
  • Oct. 12: Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announces autopsy findings which show Petito died by strangulation; No specific date of death was given – only that she was dead 3-4 weeks before her body was found 

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