In a stunning moment, Brian Laundrie’s father was seen joking with an FBI agent in a Florida swamp where investigators have been searching for his missing son for weeks, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
Laundrie vanished almost a month ago before his slain girlfriend, a Long Island woman named Gabby Petito, was found dead in Wyoming.
Laundrie remains at large
Christopher Laundrie did not seem bothered by the intense public scrutiny over his son’s disappearance or the lack of progress in finding him, according to the Daily Mail. Drenched in sweat, he was photographed pleasantly chatting with an FBI agent who, the Daily Mail noted, bore an odd resemblance to the missing Brian.
Christopher Laundrie and his wife Roberta have been confined to their home for weeks and have said little about the case, so it came as a bit of a surprise when Christopher went to the sprawling Carlton Reserve on Thursday to look for Brian with investigators.
The search did not turn up any new leads, despite spurious reports of a “fresh campsite” that were dismissed by authorities.
Through their attorney, the Laundries put out a statement thanking law enforcement and saying they hope Brian turns up sometime soon.
“The entire Laundrie family is grateful for the hard work of the dedicated members of law enforcement that have been searching the preserve for Brian over the last few weeks,” they said, as the Daily Mail reported.
Petito family suspicious
Brian Laundrie went missing on Sept. 13 after returning from a cross-country road trip in Petito’s van without his fiancée. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11, reports said, and her remains were found just over a week later in a Wyoming national park.
Brian Laundrie’s parents reported him missing on Sept. 17, days after they initially said he went missing on Sept. 14 before changing the date to Sept. 13.
The grieving family told TV’s Dr. Phil that they believe Brian Laundrie, the sole person of interest in Gabby’s homicide, is alive and in hiding and that his parents are withholding information about his whereabouts.
“Somebody needs to start talking,” Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother, said, according to the New York Post. “I do believe [his parents] know a lot more information than they’re putting out there.”