Brian Laundrie's parents may have 'tainted' evidence and had opportunity to 'do something' when they found belongings
BRIAN Laundrie's parents had the opportunity to taint evidence when they found his belongings, a DNA expert claims.
Laundrie's remains were found in a grassy stretch of land in Myakkahatchee Creek Park on October 20, more than five weeks after he vanished from his parents' home in North Port, Florida, on September 13.
Laundrie's father, Chris, found a bag with his son's belongings inside, alerting officials who were also searching the area.
An officer on the other side of the trail found a backpack that was found near the 23-year-old's remains.
DNA expert Paul Belli of the International Homicide Investigators Association claims Laundrie's parents may have had the opportunity to "taint" the evidence to "protect their son's image."
"Yeah, that’s not an ideal situation whenever that occurs. I think you and I can agree there was an opportunity maybe for them to do something with the evidence, but sometimes you’ve look at it and say 'to what end,'" Belli exclusively told The Sun when asked whether Laundrie's parents could have "tainted" evidence.
"I guess they could be protecting their son’s image or something like that, and they could've done that.
"I didn’t necessarily get that based on the coverage I saw, but I’m sure the investigators are working through that as we speak," Belli added.
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The area of the park where investigators made the discovery had, in the weeks prior, been submerged in floodwaters brought on by a flurry of storms and hurricanes in the region.
Belli previously told The Sun he believes Laundrie had weeks to “disturb evidence” at the crime scene if he killed Gabby Petito.
“Here’s a person that had weeks to handle or do things to disturb scenes such as the van," Belli said.
“I would be looking at the scenes. Cops may be looking at the actual scene of the crime. They may not have that. I don’t know.”
Belli said investigators will have carried out a lot of “forensic processing” on the young couple’s Ford transit van that they traveled in.
Gabby's body was found in a Wyoming campground on September 19 – weeks after she was last seen with Laundrie.
Teton County coroner Brent Blue said the YouTuber died from strangulation and her body had been left in the wilderness for three to four weeks.
Belli fears that investigators may not fully know what happened in Gabby’s final moments.
The expert said: “I think they’ll get a lot of information and have a circumstantial idea of what actually occurred, but there’s a good possibility that they may never know every detail.”
Travel vlogger Jenn Bethune claims she saw Gabby’s van on the evening that she was reportedly last seen.
Bethune told ABC’s 20/20: We both got goosebumps all over our body. We knew it was her van as soon as the footage passed by it.”
She and her husband Kyle noticed the vehicle parked on a dirt track.
Jenn recalled that the van appeared to be left alone and lifeless.
The vlogger added: “It didn’t look like anyone was there.”
The alleged sighting came just hours after Gabby and Laundrie were spotted in the Merry Piglets café.
It had been widely reported that Laundrie was involved in an “explosive argument” with a waitress at the restaurant.
An autopsy is currently in the works to determine Laundrie's cause of death.
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