‘This whole case is filled with one wild goose chase after another,’ the former FBI agent said
Former FBI Agent Maureen O’Connell said Thursday on “Your World” she believes Brian Laundrie, the former fiance of Gabby Petito, will be found alive.
“It’s the biggest mystery,” host Neil Cavuto said. “Where is this guy?”
“This whole case is filled with one wild goose chase after another,” O’Connell said.
Laundrie and Petito went on a cross-country trip together; starting in New York and planning to end in Oregon. Alarm and suspicion were aroused after it was reported Laundrie returned to his family in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 without Petito.
On Sept. 11, Petito was reported missing to New York police by her mother, Nicole Schmidt. On Sept. 14, Laundrie disappeared.
Before he left, Laundrie allegedly appeared at an AT&T store in North Port, Florida, where he bought a burner phone while accompanied by an older woman, TMZ reported Wednesday.
“He wanted the authorities to think he did not have a phone,” O’Connell said of the purchase. The Laundrie family attorney later said that Brian made the purchase.
At the outset of the investigation, while Petito was still considered a missing person, police begged for cooperation. “We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said.
After weeks of searching, investigators confirmed a body found in Grand Teton National Park, located in northwestern Wyoming, was Petito’s. The cause of death was determined to be unnatural causes.
Cavuto asked the former FBI agent, “Where do you think this is going?”
O’Connell responded, “I think it’s getting to the end.”
“I have a feeling that [Laundrie] is going to be found, and he is going to be found alive. All the information that’s been coming in for weeks now, as you layer it upon itself, you can start to see all these things coming to fruition.”
“For example, now they’re starting to really piece together the activities of the parents. When you look at what was done, and what wasn’t done, when you look at the timing of that, you can find the point where they decided they were going to 100% support their son and not support the Petito family or Gabby.”
During the trip, police were notified of a domestic violence incident in Moab, Utah. The caller told dispatch that Laundrie was hitting Petito. “The gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller said. “They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off.”
Later, police pulled over their van and the bodycam video shows Petito admitting to hitting Laundrie, and also demonstrating how he grabbed her face.
“[Gabby] … began slapping him,” the report said of a dispute. “[Laundrie] grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off.”
The cops decided against making a domestic violence arrest on Petito, and separated the two for the night instead.
“[Petito and Laundrie] reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” the report added.
Before going on the cross-country trip, Petito moved into Laundrie’s family home in Florida. The duo met in high school in Long Island, New York.
Fox News uncovered dozens of calls to police relating to the Laundrie Florida residence.
Petito’s family has asked Laundrie to turn himself into police. “Brian, we are asking you to turn yourself into the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”
The family also said they remained confident they will receive justice for Gabby.