Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend and ex-fiance of homicide victim Gabby Petito, has been missing after leaving his home in North Port, Florida on Sept 14.
According to his parents, who reported him missing on September 17, he left without his phone or his wallet and was headed for the Carlton Reserve where the police have been searching for the last week.
Doubts have been raised about whether or not the Laundries have been completely truthful about their knowledge of Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts.
And now it seems like that alleged dishonesty might end up costing them.
Will Brian Laundrie’s parents have to pay for the search for him?
According to Mike Hasdell, swamp search and rescue expert, the Brian Laundrie’s parent may be forced to foot the bill if it is discovered that they have lied to police about any aspect of the search.
Hasdell says the police have spent over $1.2 million dollars after 6 days of investigation.
“I can accurately estimate they are spending $200,000 a day on this search,” Hasdell told DailyMail.
“And if this thing turns out to be bogus and they can prove that the family misled law enforcement on this, the parents will get a bill.”
Hasdell was a former LA County Sheriff’s deputy and also runs the volunteer Peace River K9 Search and Rescue Association in Sarasota.
He’s led over 160 missions, but is not involved in the manhunt for Brian — attacking the amount spent on the search instead.
“To see them blow more than a million bucks out here on this guy, is just like what the heck?” he said. “A lot of other people who end up missing need that money and need that help. And they just don’t get it. And that is chafing me on this whole thing.”
There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that Brian Laundrie is in the Carlton Reserve.
While the FBI are continuing to search the swamp area where Laundrie’s parents claim he was headed to when they last saw him, they have not disclosed what, if any, evidence they have found linking him to the reserve.
Hasdell points out that they should be able to find tracks or movements of his because of the way the mud sinks beneath your feet.
However, he does acknowledge that cadaver dogs may have raised a promising alert that has encouraged police to keep searching the area.
The NPPD have brought Christopher and Roberta in for questioning plenty of times, and just yesterday the FBI went by the Laundrie home and requested some of Brian’s belongings.
“The FBI requested some personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie to assist them with DNA matching and Brian’s parents provided the FBI with what they could,” the Laundries’ lawyer, Steven Bertolino said to multiple news outlets.
The NPPD have scaled back their search for the missing fugitive, keeping the search to the air and allowing the FBI to take over as the lead investigators as the search moves out of the state.
A former FBI agent believes the Laundries may be pressured to cooperate with the investigation soon.
Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, told CNBC this week that he suspects Christopher and Roberta will appear in front of a grand jury some time soon.
“I would expect that to happen momentarily, see them in front of a grand jury,” he said, “and then if they are not going to cooperate, they can get charged with contempt or obstruction.”
While he was originally treated as a missing person and the search began with those intentions, when the FBI issued the warrant for his arrest, the search took on a different tone.
The indictment sets a new legal precedent, and if Christopher and Roberta are found to have purposely misled the police or helped Brian escape the law, they could face anywhere from 5 to 15 years in prison.