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Brian Laundrie May Have Escaped Warrant on a Cruise Ship or Plane, Says Ex-FBI Agent

Newsweek logo Newsweek 9/30/2021 Brendan Cole
Police are continuing their search for Brian Laundrie after he went missing on Tuesday, September 14. In these photos, Laundrie can be seen speaking to police (left) and posing for a picture (right) that was later uploaded onto Instagram. © Moab City Police Department/ Brian Laundrie Police are continuing their search for Brian Laundrie after he went missing on Tuesday, September 14. In these photos, Laundrie can be seen speaking to police (left) and posing for a picture (right) that was later uploaded onto Instagram.

A former FBI agent has said that the search for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito, is likely to take on an international scope.

The comments by retired FBI special agent John MacVeigh come as a search for Laundrie, 23, has so far drawn a blank, amid multiple reports of sightings since he was last seen by his family leaving his Florida home on September 14.

The remains of Petito, 22, were found in Wyoming on September 19, eight days after her family reported her missing following a cross-country trip.

The FBI issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie on September 23 based on his alleged use of Petito's debit card without authorization and there have been reported sightings of him in Florida's Fort De Soto Park, Alabama and even Canada.

But MacVeigh, who has worked on many missing and wanted persons inquiries, told ABC affiliate WPBF that Laundrie might have got on a cruise ship or plane before the warrant was issued, which is a line of inquiry FBI agents in the Tampa area will be pursuing.

"I assume those agents have been around everywhere, looking from the house to that park, to see was there any video, did they stop to get gas?" said MacVeigh, who believed that agents would be checking for surveillance videos from rest areas and gas stations between Wyoming and Florida.

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"Since the warrant's been issued, then the FBI can issue a red notice, which goes to Interpol and it's sent out to all the countries," MacVeigh said.

He believed that another key to the investigation was the cell phone that Laundrie's family lawyer, Steven Bertoloni, confirmed the missing man had bought on September 4, 10 days before he was last seen.

Bertoloni said the device was not a "burner phone" and was set up with an AT&T account and left behind at the Laundrie's North Port family home before Brian Laundrie left on September 14, WPBF reported.

MacVeigh told the network that the FBI would "definitely get a search warrant for his cellphone, because there is clearly credible evidence on the phone as to his locations."

However, bodycam footage released in August by Utah police showed Laundrie telling officers who had stopped him during a domestic disturbance that he did not have a phone.

Later in the video he is seen pulling out a phone, although it is unclear whose it is.

"Do we actually know it was his real phone, was it just a phone he went out and bought," said MacVeigh who said in his experience, those who left behind a phone typically went on the run and did not want to be tracked.

Newsweek has contacted Bertoloni for comment.

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