Both Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are gone, but this case is not over. There are still many unanswered questions about both of their deaths — and whether they could have been prevented.
One of the biggest questions raised since news first broke of Brian’s disappearance on September 17 is… HOW THE HECK DID POLICE LOSE TRACK OF HIM??
We mean, the case had already garnered national attention, so you’d think special care would be taken to get it right. And yet… the sole person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée was allowed to slip away, never to be seen alive again. Why??
Related: Brian’s Notebook ‘Possibly Salvageable’ — Last Chance For Answers?
Well, we have at least one answer now. North Port Police public information officer Josh Taylor told WINK on Monday that the department had indeed been doing surveillance on Brian. Unfortunately, the cops watching made a big, frankly unbelievable mistake.
Taylor explained that the North Port PD set up cameras around the Laundrie family home as suspicions about his involvement grew. They even watched as he left in his Mustang on Monday, September 13. They did not follow him for some reason. That’s the first mistake.
But then they were sure he had come home. Taylor admitted:
“When the family reported him [missing] on Friday. That was certainly news to us that they had not seen him. We thought that we seen Brian initially come back into that home on that Wednesday. But we now know that that wasn’t true.”
Why? His parents went to get the car from the Carlton Reserve and returned on Wednesday, September 13, as we already know.
Yes, that is all still suspicious, that they were aware enough that he was missing to go get his car but not enough to tell the police he was missing. But there’s another issue…
It turns out when Brian’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, came home driving the Mustang, police watching on the cameras thought she was Brian! Taylor told the outlet:
“I believe it was his mom who was wearing a baseball cap. They’re kind of built similarly.”
SERIOUSLY?! She’s a 55-year-old woman, he was a 23-year-old man. He was bald, she has a full head of brunette hair. Do we need to go on?? Sorry, but how bad was the resolution and/or angle on those cameras that they could possibly have mistaken her for him??
Well, it was good enough that North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison assured the press on Thursday, September 16:
“All I’m going to say is we know where Brian Laundrie is at.”
The next day Brian was revealed to have disappeared, apparently days beforehand. The cost of the subsequent four-week manhunt was in the millions, according to experts. And of course, we now know how that story ends.
Related: Brian Laundrie ‘Suicide Note’ – Real Or Hoax?
Taylor defended the mistake, explaining:
“They had returned from the park with that Mustang. So who does that? Right? Like, if you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re going to bring his car back to the home. So it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there. So the individual getting out with a baseball cap we thought was Brian.”
Right, agreed, it’s inexplicable, but… Why did you need to use logic? Why did looking at the actual video and seeing it was a middle aged woman not work??
It almost feels like he’s implying Roberta intentionally outfoxed the police by putting on a baseball cap. But that doesn’t make sense because with cameras on her there’s no way that should have worked. Taylor’s final defense?
“No case is perfect.”
Nobody’s perfect. Awesome. Clearly the department realized at some point in the past 24 hours how bad all this looked because Taylor was back speaking to the press again on Tuesday and giving a different defense of the cops’ screwup. He told WFLA:
“Other than confusion, it likely changed nothing. There is a very good possibility that Brian was already deceased. He still needed to be found.”
Seriously?? First off, how could he possibly know when Brian was deceased? The autopsy results have been fairly inconclusive thus far, so we may never know his time of death. Even Gabby’s time of death is a weeklong window, and Brian’s remains were reportedly already skeletal.
Second, how did it change nothing?? If they had adequately surveilled Brian, he never would have disappeared in the first place, and he could have been safely arrested. That’s nonsense.
The Laundries’ lawyer Steven Bertolino responded to WFLA:
“None of this may have made a difference with respect to Brian’s life but it certainly would have prevented all of the false accusations leveled by so many against Chris and Roberta with respect to ‘hiding’ Brian or otherwise financing an ‘escape.’”
We just can’t believe the police screwed up worse than we already thought. Wow.
[Image via FOX13/Fox News Digital/YouTube.]