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Florida police reveal huge mistake in search for Brian Laundrie

Deseret News logo Deseret News 10/27/2021 Herb Scribner
The home of Brian Laundrie is viewed Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in North Port, Fla. Investigators now say they made a mistake while watching the home in conjunction with the Gabby Petito case. © Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press The home of Brian Laundrie is viewed Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in North Port, Fla. Investigators now say they made a mistake while watching the home in conjunction with the Gabby Petito case.

Florida investigators said this week that they mistook Brian Laundrie’s mom for her son days after Brian Laundrie’s finance, Gabby Petito, was reported missing.

  • “They are built kind of similarly,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN affiliate WINK. “No case is perfect”

Police said they saw Laundrie drive away from his home on Sept. 13, in a Mustang. Two days later, the Mustang came home, according to CNN.

  • Police said they believe Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, drove the car home, CNN reports.

The mistake is a crucial one because it made police think Brian Laundrie had been at his home for the days between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15. He was reported missing on Sept. 17 and believed to have left his home on Sept. 14 (that date was later changed to Sept. 13). So the police were already behind the investigation of his whereabouts.

What happened to Gabby Petito?

The revelation comes after a monthlong investigation into the whereabouts of Petito and Laundrie. The couple went on a cross-country road trip this summer, but only Laundrie returned to their home in Florida on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11. Police started surveillance on Laundrie thereafter.

  • Petito’s body was found in a Wyoming national forest on Sept. 19. A coroner confirmed she died by strangulation.

How did Brian Laundrie die?

  • Laundrie was reported missing on Sept. 17. He was confirmed dead on Oct. 20 with authorities finding him in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which is a part of the Carlton Reserve in Florida.
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