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Brian Laundrie's parents 'want to believe him' even if he is 'guilty of the worst of crimes,' forensic psychiatrist says

BRIAN LAUNDRIE’S parents are likely going to be “invested in believing” their son even if he’s found guilty of the “worst of crimes”, according to a forensic psychiatrist.

A doctor weighed on the loyalty that Christopher Laundrie, 62, and mother Roberta Laundrie, 55, would have for their son after scrutiny has mounted since their 23-year-old son vanished on September 13 and what they may know about Gabby Petito’s homicide. 


The parents had initially told authorities that they last saw Brian on September 14. 

“He may be guilty of the worst of crimes or the most depraved of crimes committed on Gabby, but at the same time, if he’s been in touch with his family, and he’s communicated to them an account, they’re going to be invested in believing him,” Dr. Michael Welner said during an interview on News Nation.

“And we have to expect that and we have to respect that because that’s a human nature that comes before any decision to cooperate with law enforcement.”


Welner speculates that there are too many unknowns to place blame or shame the parents. 

“We don’t know what he told them, but what we can expect is that they would be invested in seeing things from his perspective and his account,” said Welner. 

“So while many people around the country and maybe massing on the family grounds [are] maybe hurling all kinds of anger at the family, we have to remember that they’re not necessarily going to see things the way others see them, because they can always say, ‘We know him more than you do.'”


Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…

On Thursday, Brian's dad agreed to point out to law enforcement officers his son's favorite trails and hiking spots.

The father spent a little over three hours at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.

“Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve,” the Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said. 

“Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago, it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better.”

He joined the search for his son after investigators discovered a "fresh campsite" at the perilous swampland that is known to be filled with alligators and snakes. 


The park has served as ground zero for authorities who have used drones, watercraft, hound dogs and other means to track the fugitive fiance. 

Initially, Bertolino claimed that “Brian left that phone at home the day he went for a hike in the preserve on September 14, 2021 and the FBI now has that phone.”

That date was recently corrected to be a day earlier. 

The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” their lawyer, Steven Bertolino said. 

“Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday Sept. 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday Sept. 13.“


The pursuit to bring Brian into custody hasn’t waned since a manhunt was launched last month. 

Brian was named a “person of interest” four days days before his 22-year-old ex-fiancee, Gabby, was found dead in Grand Teton Park in Wyoming. 

The van-life couple logged two months of a transatlantic road trip over the summer. 

Gabby was last heard from Aug. 27.

The Teton County coroner and FBI confirmed remains found on September 19 was Gabby. 

The coroner ruled her death a homicide but the cause of death hasn’t been released.

On Sept. 23, the FBI Denver Field Office issued an arrest warrant for Brian. 

He stands accused of using an “unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death. 

The FBI issued an arrest warrant, accusing Brian of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1.


Brian remains at large but there have been a series of alleged sightings in multiple states as well as Mexico, Canada, and some believe he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail. 

So far, the possible leads haven’t panned out.

Brian remains a person of interest in Gabby's death but has yet to officially be named a suspect.

Brian Laundrie timeline

Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 14. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:

  • July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
  • August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
  • August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
  • September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
  • September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
  • September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
  • September 14: Laundrie issues a statement through his lawyer regarding Gabby. This is allegedly the last time he was seen by his family.
  • September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
  • September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
  • September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
  • September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
  • September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
  • September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
  • September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
  • October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
  • October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.

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