Brian Laundrie could be hiding out in urban areas and using a face mask to evade capture, survival expert saysOctober 1, 2021
BRIAN Laundrie could be hiding out in an urbanized environment and would have a better chance of not being spotted by cops if he wears a face mask, a survivalist says.
The 23-year-old was reported missing on September 17 – days after he returned to Florida alone without his fiancée Gabby Petito.
Laundrie allegedly told his parents that he was heading to the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve in Sarasota for a hike, while online detectives claim they have spotted the fugitive in Alabama, North Port, Mexico, and Canada.
His whereabouts remain unknown, prompting reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter to join the search efforts.
Survival expert Dave Canterbury said cops are right to exhaust every possible lead amid reports of alleged sightings.
But, he thinks Laundrie would have more chance of not being caught if he was in an urbanized area, rather than the wilderness.
Canterbury told The Sun: “In my mind, he is much more likely to be able to maintain an on-the-run status and not be caught if he is trying to blend in an urban environment.
“If Laundrie has money and he can put on a mask, hat, and hoodie, he could probably walk into a rural store and not be recognized – 90 percent of the time."
He added that it would be difficult for cops to find Laundrie unless the fugitive tells someone who he is, or is recognized by a member of the public.
Canterbury predicts that if Laundrie is still in Florida, then he will stay in the state.
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He said: “I don’t see how he’ll be able to afford to hitchhike anywhere. If he’s in Florida and was in the state, then he’s going to have to stay there.”
FBI agents issued an arrest warrant for the fugitive after he was accused of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1.
Canterbury said: "Psychology is a big part of survival. Not only the fact that he’s trying to survive, but he’s also running and being pursued."
He warned that this could result in Laundrie making “foolish” decisions.
'CHASING A GHOST'
Lenny DePaul, a former US Marshal, believes Laundrie is “sleeping with one eye open” even though he thinks cops are “chasing a ghost”.
He told the New York Post: “I personally think he could be anywhere. It doesn’t matter. He’s gonna mess up. He’s going to make a mistake.”
Maureen O’Connell, formerly of the FBI, believes that Petito's fiancé will be found alive.
She told Fox News: “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 yourself, you can start to see all these things coming to fruition.”
Canterbury warned that Laundrie faces potential difficulties if he is hiking in the Florida wilderness.
The survivalist fears that Petito's fiancé could be battling hypothermia within weeks as temperature swings of up to 30 degrees could hit the Sunshine State this fall.
Canterbury said: “If it’s not happening now, then within the next few weeks, it’s going to be a major problem.”
The survivalist speculated there is a greater chance Laundrie may become hypothermic if his body is already wet – either from sweat or wading through swamps.
He also warned that Laundrie is going to face challenges accessing clean drinking water and moving through the Carlton Nature Reserve.
Canterbury said: "Humans are built to detect peripheral movement – that's what our eyes do.
"We're hunters by nature. If Laundrie moves during the day when people are looking, it’s going to be easy for him to be found."
But, he also warned that moving through the wilderness at night is "dangerous".
The expert, who starred in the Discovery series Dual Survivor, said survivalists should carry with them a cutting tool, a combustion device, cover elements that protect the body, containers that are used to disinfect water, and cordage.
He coined the checklist: “The Five C’s of Survivability”.
BUGS 'DRIVING BRIAN CRAZY'
Canterbury said: "Those five items are probably five things that he’s lacking. He may have one of them – he may have two of them. He probably does not have all of them.
"Unless he’s a very skilled survivalist, it’s going to be very difficult for him long term without at least having all of five of those items, and the knowledge and ability to put them to use."
He said that mosquitos will be driving Laundrie “crazy” and the 23-year-old will find it tricky to access clean drinking water.
Canterbury said Laundrie will have to try and disinfect the water but warned that starting a fire could lead to police spotting him.
Water is likely to be full of tannins after heavy downpours. Tannins are commonly found in the roots and bark of trees but high concentrations can be harmful to humans.
Canterbury said: “It’s a Russian roulette deal if you just drink the water.”
Survival expert Mark Burrow told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune: "It's dehydration that's the real danger."
Gabby spent her 22nd birthday with self-proclaimed “nature enthusiast” Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail, and one of the vlogger’s friends claimed that Brian had lived there “for months”.
But, Canterbury said that surviving in the wilderness is different from hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
He said people do not “need a lot of survival skills” when hiking on the scenic route.
The survivalist said: “You just need to be able to walk long distances and be able to go on small amounts of food at a time (to survive the Appalachian Trail).
“Appalachian Trail hikers don’t have to worry about building fire or shelter off the landscape, and controlling the body's core temperature without the aid of proper clothing."
Dave Canterbury is a survival expert and the author of Bushcraft 101 which made The New York Times bestseller list. He teaches survival techniques at the Pathfinder School in Ohio.
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