- John Walsh, the host of “In Pursuit,” said he doesn’t believe Brian Laundrie ever went to the Carlton Reserve.
- “I think he was never there,” Walsh told CNN.
- Walsh wondered if anyone had seen Laundrie since he returned to his family home.
John Walsh, the host of “In Pursuit,” has joined the search for Brian Laundrie and was skeptical if anyone actually saw Laundrie in his family home in the days after he returned on September 1.
“I’m of a different persuasion and a different philosophy on going back to the swamp. I think he was never there,” Walsh told CNN of police efforts to search through the Carlton Nature Reserve.
Laundrie returned to his family home in North Port, Florida on September 1, 10 days before the family of Gabby Petito reported her missing on September 11. Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip together.
—Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 22, 2021
Laundrie refused to assist authorities in the search for Petito, invoking his Fifth Amendment right.
His attorney, Steven Bertolini, told reporters that Laundrie remained at the family home, but on September 17 informed the police and the public that his family last heard from him a few days prior.
The FBI on Tuesday confirmed that remains found near Grand Teton National Park were Petito’s and said her death was a homicide.
Police in Florida are still searching for Laundrie, who is considered a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance.
Walsh said he doesn’t believe Laundrie ever went to the Carlton Reserve. “His parents and the lawyer on the phone bought him five days, four days to get out in front of this,” he told CNN.
He questioned the family’s claims that Laundrie had gone to the reserve on Tuesday and thought it was unusual that the family found his Ford Mustang and left a note for him to return.
“In a 60,000-acre preserve they just found his car,” Walsh said, adding that there were reports the car didn’t leave the driveway in the times the family said it did.
Police searched the family home on Monday and declared it a crime scene. A tow truck removed the car the family said Brian drove to the reserve. Investigators could also be seen taking large, flat cardboard boxes and evidence bags into the home.
Walsh however, was more concerned that there were no reports of anyone physically seeing Laundrie in the home.
“I’ve been asking all kinds of reporters … ‘Has anybody seen any confirmation that he was in that house?’ What if he came back with the van. He was there for ten days. Great amount of time to prepare for an escape. Could’ve scraped the van. I’m surprised the FBI finds anything in that van or anything in the house,” Walsh said. “So ten days he’s there, did anybody see him? Did any neighbors ever actually see Brian?”
Walsh suggested that the family could have used a newspaper with the date on it and taken a photo of their son next to it as proof he was there.
“All this time the time the FBI and the North Port police have been going on the word of the lawyer, of Bertolino, that he’s in the house and wasn’t everyone surprised when they called up Friday and said he’s been gone since Tuesday,” Walsh said.
Laundrie is considered a “person of interest” and not a suspect. He has not been charged with any crime. The FBI and the North Port Police Department did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.