Brian Laundrie, the sole “person of interest” in the case of Gabby Petito’s death, was reported missing in mid-September and is now the subject of a widespread manhunt by federal law enforcement.
Though it is presumed that Laundrie, an avid camper and hiker, is attempting to survive on the run in the wild, a former FBI fugitive tracker recently suggested that the 23-year-old — like most other fugitives — will eventually seek out a “comfort zone” and end up being caught.
That former FBI agent is Terry Turchie, who reportedly led the year-long, and ultimately successful, search throughout North Carolina’s mountains for Eric Robert Rudolph, who was later convicted for the deadly bombing of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
“People don’t change because they become a fugitive,” Turchie told Fox News in an interview. “They tend to try to figure out how they can land in the comfort zone.”
“He’s probably being taken care of”
Given Laundrie’s proclivities for the outdoors life, many have presumed that he is trying to survive as a fugitive in the wilderness or on the open road.
His own sister, however, has downplayed that possibility, describing her brother as a “mediocre survivalist” at best in an interview with The Sun. Still, she said she wouldn’t be surprised if he did manage to survive on his own in the wild.
Turchie seemed to agree with that assessment of Laundrie’s survival skills, suggesting it’d be a challenge for him to last out in the wilderness for long without any assistance.
“Clearly he’s not out in some camp or some cave somewhere on the hard, cold ground or…snake, gator-infested water. He’s somewhere where he’s probably being taken care of,” the former agent told Fox.
“When you see how he came running home after something obviously happened, that kind of tells you what he’s probably doing now,” he added, apparently referencing Laundrie’s decision to return home to Florida — alone — from a cross-country trip in Petito’s van shortly after she had presumably died, only to then go missing himself just days later.
All fugitives “tire eventually”
Turchie said that in the end, all fugitives “tire eventually,” and either make critical mistakes or seek out a “comfort zone” that can be discerned by investigators through a basic “formula.”
“You interview as many people who need this person as you can, you continue following that,” the former FBI agent explained to Fox. “You talk to neighbors, friends, and you look for anything [the fugitive] might have said during a time that he didn’t have this guard up where he hadn’t done anything.”
In addition to being the sole “person of interest” in Petito’s death, The Hill reports that Laundrie is also wanted by the FBI on an arrest warrant related to the illegal use of a debit card.