Brian Laundrie will be caught and is now 'sleeping with one eye open', says ex US Marshal

FUGITIVE Brian Laundrie is sending a message that he is the prime suspect in Gabby Petito's murder because "innocent people don’t run", a retired US Marshal says. 

Lenny DePaul, who has decades of experience chasing on-the-run criminals, said the 23-year-old has probably gone off the grid to evade the police — but is convinced that while he "can run, he can’t hide".


Vlogger Gabby, 22, had been on a trip of a lifetime as she drove across the country with her 23-year-old high school sweetheart and fiance, Laundrie.

Yet he returned home alone in the van they were traveling in.

After hiring a lawyer and refusing to talk, he then vanished too — five days before Gabby’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming. 

He is definitely sleeping with one eye open and it is a matter of time

But veteran US Marshal Lenny DePaul told 60 Minutes Australia is positive he will be caught soon. 

He said: "I’ve seen it all. He is not a career criminal. He does not know how to play fugitive as I would say. 

"Right now human instincts have turned into animal instincts. He has completely shut down no matter where he is."

DePaul added: "So he has got it rough out there wherever he is. I think he’s scared.

"He is definitely sleeping with one eye open and it is a matter of time.

"I would say you can run but you can’t hide — and when you run, you only go to jail tired."

DePaul also said by running Brian was sending a message to everybody that he may be the number one suspect in this case because "innocent people don’t run.

'DOESN'T MAKE SENSE'

DePaul also said a lot did not make sense in terms of Laundrie’s parents who have not been helpful in finding their son. 

He said: "Gabby lived in Florida with them. They got engaged. He shows up in the van without her. 

"What does he tell his parents? ‘Oh, we broke up, I left her out there, I just decided to drive the van back home."

Gabby’s dad Joe agreed, said: "You’d think there would be some conversations.

"If Brian was staying at my house and Gabby returned to my house without him in his vehicle I’d be on the phone to their parents saying we’ve got some stuff to talk about now. 

He added: "It’s torturous. If they do know something and they are withholding that and don’t want to let us know, well that is cruel."

Gabby Petito timeline

Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:

  • June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
  • July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
  • July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
  • July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
  • August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
  • August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
  • August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
  • August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
  • August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
  • August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
  • September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
  • September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
  • September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
  • September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
  • September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
  • September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
  • September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
  • September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
  • September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
  • September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
  • September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
  • September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
  • September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
  • September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
  • September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
  • September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
  • October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.

 

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