The manhunt for Brian Laundrie is in full swing. Once Laundrie is found, he’ll likely face charges for the death of his fiancé Gabby Petito. A prosecutor believes Laundrie is not doing himself any favors with his disappearance. Laundrie’s parents could also face charges, the prosecutor continued, if there’s proof they helped their missing son in some way conceal evidence.
A Most Wanted Man
Everyone in the United States knows who Laundrie is at this point. Witnesses who called the police on the couple reportedly believed he was physically and mentally abusing Petito days before her disappearance. Her body’s been discovered in Wyoming, and officials have determined it was a homicide. Laundrie was last seen returning to his parents’ home without Petito on September 1 and is still at large.
His parents recently recanted their original version of events, telling the FBI that they’d last seen Laundrie on Monday, September 13, a day earlier than they’d first said when they reported him missing on September 17, two days after Laundrie was declared a person of interest in Petitio’s missing person case.
A Guilty Mind
It’s bad enough to be suspected of murder, but it’s even worse to go on a run. Palm Beach Country State Attorney Dave Aronberg recently spoke about what Laundrie, a Florida native, is facing. He said the county is “not rushing” its report. Once charges are filed, the state only has 180 days to present its case. Therefore, delaying the charges buys the state a little bit more time to build its case up.
It’s “extremely likely” that Laundrie will soon face even more severe charges, Aronberg says. His ongoing disappearance suggests a “consciousness of guilt,” and choosing to run could “come back to haunt him.”
What About His Folks?
As for Laundrie’s parents, whom many believe are helping him escape, it would be tougher to press charges against them without hard evidence. Aronberg says, “They have done everything possible to incriminate themselves in the court of public opinion,” but that doesn’t mean anything in court. He explains, “to be charged as an accessory after the fact, you need to know that Brian committed a crime, and then, you have to do something to prevent his punishment or his arrest.”
If the police obtained evidence that Laundrie’s parents, say, helped rid the van of evidence or bought Laundrie a plane ticket to help him evade capture, then charges would probably get filed right away.
In the meantime, the parents are being tormented by online sleuths. Planes bearing “Justice 4 Gabby’ are flying over the family home. Personalities like John Walsh and Dog the Bounty Hunter are taking a personal interest in the case, not to mention the police.
Once these tougher charges come out, then a clearer picture will start to form about what justice Laundrie could face. The case could get messy, for the Floridian could be charged with homicide in Wyoming. The death penalty is legal in both states, however, so the ending could be the same either way.