Our family of eight are full-time RVers who travel the nation regularly shooting drone footage and photographs of some of the most beautiful spots in the US. We have roughed it, used our fifth wheels, tented, and camped in some pretty amazing areas. We’ve been to BLM land, public parks, state parks, private campgrounds, and resorts. All have their pros and cons. So today, we’re lending some of our experience as outdoorsy-type RVing/camping experts to comment on the Brian Laundrie case.
We’ll cover some facts on the current developments, disprove some rumors going around, discuss what it’s like “roughing it” on land/sea, obstacles he’ll face with basic needs if Brian continues to stay on the run, and more.
About Brian Laundrie
FACT: Brian Laundrie is Gabby Petito’s ex-fiance, who did a #vanlife trip with her, using her van, commencing in July. Their trip was supposed to end in late October. Gabby was last seen/heard from on August 25 with her mother on Facetime. Since then, Brian returned back home from Spread Creek dispersed camping area in Wyoming to North Port, FL with Gabby’s van (not his), and used her debit card twice, taking out in excess of $1000 from her bank account.
Brian Laundrie is currently a wanted fugitive on the run, evading law enforcement with a federal warrant for financial transaction fraud (bank fraud) for unauthorized use of her debit card.
Van life is hard, and has a higher suicide rate than other forms of camping or lifestyles. There are numerous reported suicides involving van-lifers. You’re dealing with small, cramped spaces, limited ability to cook, clean, or get comfortable, and combine that with a troubled relationship or mental health issues, and you’ve got a world of problems.
Living off-grid as a nomad is even tougher. You’re exposed to the elements, and struggle with basic needs like staying dry (super important for infectious reasons), staying safe from wildlife, and feeding yourself.
THEORY: Did he tell his parents what he did? Is that why they cancelled the initial trip to Ft. De Soto campground on September 1-3 and rescheduled while he was driving back? If so, he would have still had his phone to call his mother. Where did the phone go? Did he have help escaping North Port from his family, specifically his mother, Roberta? It’s quite possible.
Let’s run down some facts versus theories so you can join the conversation with confidence, without posting comments with content that has already been debunked.
Brian Laundrie: Fugitive on the Run
FACT: Living on the lam is not easy, especially when your face is plastered all over social media. It does take a mental toll, and a great deal of energy. The adrenaline is rushing all the time, and you’re constantly having to be aware of your surroundings. There is no “relaxing”. Even when you’re RVing or camping, you’re aware of your surroundings, as there are plenty of nomads, drug addicts, and homeless individuals who try to steal your gear, beg for help or supplies, or even just creep you out. If Brian was smart, he would avoid places where people gather altogether, because now his face is plastered all over the place.
Dog the Bounty Hunter is currently tracking Brian Laundrie’s activities on Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge. Why would Brian prefer Egmont over the mainland? Less foot traffic, solitude for the most part, and a large enough place where he can hide and not be discovered.
There are abandoned building structures on the island. But there is no vegetation for Brian Laundrie to consume, which would make it hard to stay fed. In addition, the winter months are approaching, so temperatures will continue to drop, making it difficult to continue to stay dry and warm down there. It is unknown to me whether or not Brian has access to fresh running water on that island.
There are lots of visitors on the weekends, so him hiding there would have to involve evading the visitors, as well, who now know he might be hiding there. This could strike up additional activity on the island for people hunting him.
THEORY: This would make an easy escape to hide out given its proximity to Ft. De Soto Campground. The Laundries could easily leave supplies for him to pick up there, including food and water. That was probably their initial plan and There have been reports of him possibly buying kayaks or some sort of boat; one for himself and one for his gear. Those have not yet been located by law enforcement or Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Where is Brian Laundrie Hiding?
FACT: Staying close to family/support makes sense if they are on your side, helping you evade law enforcement. Hotels and motels, even shady ones, are not ideal when there is money to be made on your whereabouts. The Laundries’ names are well-known now; making reservations would only spike too much interest and attention. He can easily hide in campgrounds and state parks, provided he stays away from public access sites like marina landings, bathrooms, other RVers, etc. BLM land would be his best asset, with less traffic and off-grid places to hide. Which makes moving at night to take care of those things ideal rather than moving around during the daytime. However, he runs the risk of being discovered in the daytime by hikers and those visiting these sites if he is sleeping and fails to take cover.
He needs two things he can’t get on that island: food and water. He left with a backpack of gear, so he probably has the essentials of tent covering, a solar blanket of sorts, extra clothing layers, and crackers to feast on. So either he’ll steal packs from visitors (he’s already stolen from Gabby) or return to the mainland constantly to get supplies.
There have been “sightings” on the Appalachian Trail. There has been a sighting at 2:30 a.m. at the Ft. Desoto campground, allegedly appearing at the bathroom to address a wound on his leg. He can only be in one place at any given time. If he’s driving around that supposed truck in Tennessee near Pigeon River, then he got help from family or a friend who either supplied him with that truck or was given money to purchase a truck. If so, it’s not registered in his name. Who would be helping him, risking a 5-year prison term for aiding and abetting a wanted fugitive?
THEORY: Brian Laundrie probably did not escape to Mexico or Canada. There are cameras posted at border points of entry. Mexico is not ideal even if he had slipped in via a water crossing or through land without going through border patrol. He’s a white man with balding features; easy to spot and does not blend in well with the locals. Canada is out of the question due to the lower temperatures.
Mexico has a large number of cartel soldiers who would love nothing more than to turn him in for cash rewards. Mexico does recognize our US laws as it relates to fugitives, and Dog the Bounty Hunter has extracted a Max Factor heir wanted for rape charges from Mexico. Getting slapped with a felony will not prevent Dog from hunting Brian Laundrie in Mexico. Dog has zero fucks to give and will hunt a fugitive merely on principal.
Do the Parents or Attorney Know Where Brian Is?
FACT: The location of Brian Laundrie is unknown, although there have been “sightings”. Unfortunately there are a lot of balding white men out there aged 23. If you run across Brian Laundrie, take a picture, look for his tattoo markings on his hand, and call law enforcement immediately.
THEORY: It’s my belief that the attorney, Steve Bertolino, knows where Brian is, and so does his parents. They can legally say they don’t know where he is at any given time, because technically they are unaware of his physical location at any given time. But I assure you, they all know a general area of where he’s at, and as long as the lawyer is not insisting on his hiding, but simply knows the location, he is not obligated to share that location with the authorities.
The Laundrie Family Camping Trip After Gabby was Killed
FACT: Roberta Laundrie changed the Ft. De Soto Campground camping reservation on August 31 for a reservation dated September 1-3 for 2 people, to September 6-8 for 3 people. This was while Brian Laundrie was en route back home, and he arrived on September 1. Presumably, it’s a 35-hour drive from Jackson Hole Wyoming to North Port. So it would have taken him around, at minimum, 48 hours to drive back, assuming he slept more than 4 hours every 24 hours.
THEORY: Roberta Laundrie probably did this so that Brian could join them on their camping trip, and if they had left on September 1 before Brian got back, he’d either have to join them with Gabby’s van or drive all the way to their house at 4343 Wabasso Avenue, North Port, FL. It is my belief that Roberta “wears the pants” in the family and orchestrates everything from lawyer contacts to meetings, interaction with law enforcement, and everything else. Her husband, Chris, most likely follows her orders.
Roberta Laundrie and Chris Laundrie
FACT: Roberta Laundrie used to work for the Suffolk County Government from 2011 to 2020, in an office position, but more specifically, in the DA’s office. They purchased their home on 4343 Wabasso Avenue in 2015. It’s approximately 1500 square feet on a 10,000 sq. ft. lot. They tried to sell the property years later, even discounting it, but it was subsequently removed from the market.
THEORY: When the FBI showed up, they seemed overly prepared with attorney on retainer, refusing statements or comments, and quietly complied with the law enforcement requests as per their attorney’s instructions. This leads me to think that she has been coached on how to handle the situation going forward from her work experience in working in documentation in her office position, from family members with affiliations in law enforcement in New York, and from her attorney.
Steve Bertolino, the Family’s Real Estate Lawyer
FACT: Steve Bertolino, who has worked with the family for the last 20 years, was retained on an unspecified date (he refuses to disclose when via text). He specializes in real estate law, not criminal law.
THEORY: The Laundries may be trying to save big money by retaining Steve Bertolino, in hopes that their son will be able to evade law enforcement and the case goes cold. Currently he has a federal warrant for financial transaction fraud (bank fraud for using Gabby’s debit card after she was deceased). Once he is found, however, they will most likely have to hire a bonafide criminal attorney ($50,000+ for murder/manslaughter and financial transaction fraud) as the court may not recognize his experience as adequate to prevent a mistrial.
The Cell Phones
FACT: Brian and his mother Roberta are on video surveillance purchasing a new phone from an AT&T store. FBI reports it is in possession of that phone and is currently investigating it.
THEORY: Brian may still be in possession of his old phone, or has since possibly purchased a burner phone to stay in contact with family for supplies or transport. Where is Gabby’s phone? Where is Brian’s original phone? It remains unknown at this time. Steve Bertolino, attorney for the Laundries, continues to state “no comment”.
Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
FACT: There is a ferry (you have to pay) that runs from Ft. De Soto campground area to the island. Brian Laundrie could have taken that ferry across. Or, he could have taken a private boat or even kayaked across. It’s within visual distance from the campground, and less than a mile’s swim away. Any seasoned swimmer in shape could make the swim across or easily row their way to the island (though they’d be tired after). It is a state park, so visitors are welcome.
We need to start asking the question on how the state park authorities ensure that everyone has left the island for the day. In addition, whether the ferry operators keep track of how many people they’ve taken there, and how many have returned. If they were short a person on September 14th or later, that would indicate someone has been staying on the island.
THEORY: Brian is familiar with the area, has called it a beautiful place to exist, and it would make sense for him to stay hidden in an area that he’s familiar with to evade authorities. There’s plenty of shelter, as well, so at night he could hide in the buildings.
Don’t Discount Dog the Bounty Hunter
FACT: Duane Chapman “the Dog” has successfully apprehended over 10,000 fugitives who have evaded law enforcement. Let’s repeat that – they evaded law enforcement. So it’s good to have someone who people can feel safe in giving tips to on the hunt, because the tips he gets are typically credible.
THEORY: I give it some time before someone close to the Laundries sheds some light on the case and gives up Brian. Unless the family has kept their cards close to just the parents and attorney.
FBI Visits Laundrie House Again September 30
FACT: Steve Bertolino released a statement this morning, after the FBI appeared once again at the Laundrie residence. “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.” It’s about what you can reasonably expect from a real estate attorney with no specialty in criminal law.
THEORY: Steve Bertolino is, at some point, going to botch this case for the Laundries. He seems agitated in his texted responses, fails to use proper grammar or full words (often writes in text shorthand code). In one text, when asked what stores Brian visited before he disappeared he had the audacity to say “does it matter?” Well, yes, Steve Bertolino, it actually does matter to the general public on his whereabouts, what he purchased and what stores he entered because it helps establish a timeline to find him more efficiently. Because he’s a person of interest, probably killed Gabby, has physically assaulted her before, and is now on the run with a warrant on him.
Personally, I don’t trust this attorney’s statements at all, and frankly, I think he’s going to trip up with a legal technicality. I don’t trust the Laundries’ claims that he went to the Carlton reserve to go hiking, either. I truly believe that was a red herring.
Why Are the Laundries Not Actively Searching for Brian?
FACT: The Laundries stay in their house all day, rarely coming out, and when they do, it’s for a scheduled trip to see their attorney, to get groceries, and that’s it. If they’re concerned about Brian’s safe return, why aren’t they actively searching for him? Reaching out to the media, asking him to come home?
THEORY: Well, it’s simple. Either they know where he is, and want him to stay put until the storm blows over, or they just don’t care and are limited in what they can do to prevent themselves from getting arrested. But let’s discuss the behaviors of the Laundries.
- They didn’t call 911 when Brian came home in Gabby’s van without her.
- They lawyered up quickly.
- They didn’t contact police when they hadn’t heard from Gabby.
- They didn’t contact Gabby’s family.
- They refuse to cooperate or answer questions about his whereabouts, and claim they don’t know where Brian is, but certainly are not actively looking for him.
- Roberta helped Brian get a new phone; that phone was seized by the FBI, which could have been a decoy phone so that Brian could keep his existing phone. Why buy a new phone and then disappear without it or your wallet? Because you have a different phone, and untraceable cash from mom & dad.
- Roberta scheduled a camping trip to Ft. De Soto state campground, where they stayed as a family from September 6-8 (supposedly left September 7). Who camps when their son arrives home without his girlfriend, driving back with HER van? What kind of person leaves a female in some remote area and drives off with her vehicle, and then goes camping with his family, orchestrated by his mother?
Did the Laundries Use Business Funds to Help Brian Escape?
FACT: This has been an untouched subject. It needs more information, but something I’m contemplating, as it’s quite possible.
THEORY: Business funds at a bank have a separate tax ID number, and unless the business was directly tied to Brian’s disappearance, the FBI would not have reason to include the transactional activity of the business bank records. For example, what if the Laundrie’s took out cash from the business to fund Brian? Sure, he may have left without his wallet, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t leave without cash. Did the Laundrie’s load him with cash from their business account before he took off? Something to contemplate. If they did, that certainly would present a taxation problem.
How to establish probable cause? Look for any transfer of funds from their personal account to their business account or vice versa, and once that has been established, they could possibly get a warrant for bank records. Then, look for larger cash withdrawals around the dates in question, starting with August 25.
Laundrie Finances and Business
FACT: The Laundries own Juicer Services Inc. They also have ties to a yacht company called Laundrie Yacht Services, which was dissolved as a business entity on September 23, 2016. Do the Laundries still own a yacht or boating vessel that Brian could be hiding on?
In addition, Roberta Laundrie has a Poshmark account @rlaundrie. She recently changed the name on the account (unable to change the username handle) to Mary B. Why the change, Roberta? Why are you attempting to change your name on social media and shopping accounts? Something to hide?
THEORY: Roberta and Chris are probably flush with cash from their business operations and prior business with the yacht company they once operated. Roberta has a Poshmark account and some expensive accessories, which tells me she prefers more expensive things, which require cash. My money is on Roberta taking out cash from the business, or using cash they had on hand, and gave it to Brian, and then claimed he didn’t take his wallet.
Cassandra Laundrie (Lucyx), wife of Jimmy (James) Lucyx of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, told reporters at Good Morning America that she had not been able to talk to her brother, Brian Laundrie, since he returned. We’re now finding out that’s not true.
For those saying, “well, she was misinterpreting the question” or “she was referring to recently since he went missing”, there is such a thing as not being completely transparent, and sometimes that lack of full transparency is considered lying or deceiving.
In fact, Brian stopped by her house on September 1, and Cassie Laundrie met up with the Laundrie family at the Fort Desoto campground on September 6, per their attorney, Steve Bertolino. Steve Bertolino perhaps was unaware that Cassie had already told the public she had not been in contact with Brian.
On October 1, 2021, this news exploded all over Twitter, and she now has a trending hashtag of #cassielaundrie with allegations of her lying all over the social media platform. Not a good look for Cassie Laundrie.
What did she do – not text or talk to him since September 1st when he stopped by her house and when she joined them on their camping trip? Improbable.
@happyfortunestudio Cassie Laundrie update October 1, 2021 #dirtylaundrie #justiceforgabby ♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) – TimTaj
An Unsustainable Long Game
Allowing Brian Laundrie to remain on the run from law enforcement simply is not a sustainable long game. The Laundries need to rethink their strategy, because this homicide and federal arrest warrant are not going to go away. Ever.
The Laundries stand to lose thousands of dollars investing in attorney representation for a longer length of time, have their whereabouts in question at all times, not to mention the media circus.
It’s simply unsustainable for them, as well as their son, Brian. Brian’s mental and physical health will continue to deteriorate, and it’s this blogger’s opinion he should negotiate a surrender peacefully and start cooperating with law enforcement, no matter what happened with Gabby.
FBI Not Ready to Arrest Him?
The FBI may not be adequately prepared to issue an arrest warrant for him, because they’re probably still putting together evidence and establishing a chain that links Brian Laundrie to the death of Gabby Petito.
Collecting forensic evidence, evaluating it, and having something concrete enough to hold him, and encouraging a judge to hold him in jail without bond, takes a lot of work. The FBI may be even keeping tabs on him, keeping their cards close to their chest.
Imagine if they got him brought in, and he won’t talk. What are they going to hold him on? Probable cause? Then a clock starts to tick, and they have to be able to charge him within so many hours/days. And then, the information sharing between prosecutor and defendant starts.
So the FBI may very well be holding off on pursuing his imminent arrest just yet. Be assured; they will find him. They’ve collectively spent over $1.2 million on him just as a missing person of interest. Imagine what they’ll spend to hunt him as a wanted murderer actually charged with that crime.
I think if we’re going to get to the bottom of anything related to Brian Laundrie, we first have to look at Roberta Laundrie, who appears to be a primary orchestrator of things in that family. I think she wears the pants, so to speak, and has been helping Brian with everything he needs/wants since he arrived home.
Bottom line, I think the FBI needs to get a warrant to investigate the business bank accounts of this family, and tail them like crazy. It’s interesting to me that for a mother whose son is supposedly “missing” that she didn’t want to talk to Dog. He’s one of the few on this earth that could bring him in safely. We’ve all seen how law enforcement handle those with mental health issues and it has not been pretty.
Living off the earth, off-roading, nomad living is no joke. It’s hard, tough on the body, and can take a mental toll. It’s not something a seasoned professional fugitive would prefer. They tend to go back to trying to live “normally” in a house, or even a larger rig, adopting someone’s identity so they can return to a normal life. I give Brian two months before he makes his next move to transition back to “normal life” and while doing so, if he isn’t caught by then, he’ll make his next mistake.
Brian Laundrie, you will be caught. Maybe not soon enough, but at some point. The longer you evade, the worse it’s going to get. Once you’re caught, you can forget about bail. Not even an option at this point.