Chris and Roberta Laundrie arrested as the Florida home of missing man, Brian Laundrie is declared a crime scene as couple now face potential charges.
The parents of missing person of interest, Brian Laundrie have been detained after FBI agents stormed their North Point, Florida home, Monday morning, declaring the family home a ‘crime scene’.
The parents’ arrest comes a day after the body of their son’s missing girlfriend, Gabby Petito was found dead at a Wyoming campsite. The 21 year old woman’s cause of death had yet to be determined, pending an autopsy on Tuesday.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie face potential charges in aiding their son who is thought to have fled the family’s North Point home after being named a person of interest last week. The 23 year old man’s whereabouts remains unknown with the FBI saying they had called off a search for the missing man at nearby nature reserve, Carlton Reserve, close to his parents’ home, saying they had ‘exhausted all avenues.’
In announcing the search of Laundrie’s parents home, the FBI tweeted on Monday that it ‘is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL relevant to the Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito investigation.’
‘No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation,’ the FBI stated. Of note, Chris and Roberta Laundrie were allowed back into their North Point residence about an hour after the FBI arriving at their home.
FBI escorts a woman out of the Laundrie Family home and into a police vehicle. It’s believed to be Roberta Laundrie – Brian Laundrie’s mother. pic.twitter.com/alDdEkuAkU
— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) September 20, 2021
Is a missing person case now a crime case?
Five vehicles turned up with officers pouring out after the house was suddenly taped off with yellow police line tape before taking Brian Laundrie parents into custody WFLA reported.
The parents arrests comes amid criticism of Florida investigators for having allowed Laundrie to go into hiding without ever being questioned in the disappearance of Petito after the FBI announced it found the body of a person ‘consistent with the description.’
The FBI announced that it had used ‘ground surveys’ to locate a body that is likely that of Petito on Sunday. Investigators warn, however, that they are in a race against time as the long exposure to the elements could cause the body to decompose, making it more difficult to determine exactly how she died.
Petito had gone missing while visiting the Grand Teton National Park with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. Laundrie was identified as a ‘person of interest’ in the case but was not charged. He refused to speak with the cops and vanished a few days later.
The fаmily’s аttorney reportedly contаcted the FBI on September 17 to report their son’s disаppeаrаnce. They told of not hаven’t seen him since September 14, аccording to police in North Port, Floridа.
The son’s abrupt disappearance last week follows North Port police and the FBI imploring the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiancee/girlfriend, following the missing woman’s mother, notifying authorities on September 11, that Gabby was missing.
‘It is importаnt to note thаt while Briаn is а person of interest in Gаbby’s disаppeаrаnce, he is not wаnted for а crime,’ North Point police previously released. ‘Currently, we аre not working on а criminаl investigаtion. We’re currently working on а number of missing person cаses’.
What charges if any do Brian Laundrie parents face?
It remained unclear what charges if any, Brian Laundrie’s parents now faced.
Nevertheless it remained feasible that the parents could be arrested in aiding their son, if he was deemed a fugitive, as per Florida laws:
A person who knowingly hides a wanted criminal from law enforcement can be charged with harboring a fugitive under both state and federal law. When someone helps another person who is suspected of or has been convicted of committing a crime avoid being arrested or facing punishment, this is known as harboring a fugitive. The law also applies if a person assists in the concealment of a prisoner who has escaped. While the person accused of harboring a fugitive may not have been involved in the underlying crime, protecting those who are wanted on state and federal warrants can result in serious consequences.
Prosecutors must show that the person who was hidden had a federal arrest warrant issued against him or her, and that the accused was aware of the fugitive’s arrest warrant. In the case of Laundrie, this will not be the case. Officials have stated that Laundrie is not wanted for any crimes.
According to a statement released by North Port police on Friday, the disappearances of Petito and Laundrie are being treated as ‘multiple missing person investigations.’ Add in the fact that authorities are unable to comment on whether or not a crime has been committed at this time.
Despite public and media condemnation over Laundrie’s refusal to speak with cops and seek out legal representation, such actions are perfectly legal. Simultaneously, it was his family who alerted authorities to his alleged disappearance, sparking the manhunt.