The New York Post spoke with the president of Peace River K9 Search and Rescue Michael Hadsell earlier today. He’s not been involved in Laundrie’s case, but he has helped in searches of the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park before. That’s where authorities discovered a backpack, drybag, and notebook belonging to Laundrie on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
Hadsell believes the authorities will bring in more cadaver dogs to search the Florida park after discovering the unknown human remains. Before this week, they and the belongings were stuck under several feet of water. This impeded the initial search dogs from sniffing out the decaying body parts.
“The problem is people don’t understand that dogs are not body finders, they are odor hunters,” Hadsell told the outlet. “They chase the odor of human remains, and the problem is that there are times when odor is not making the best presentation.”
He added, “In this case, the search conditions that they were in initially were really bad, so the probability was more in the 20 percent success rate because there was water in that area.”
The search conditions have changed recently, however. Now that the water’s receded and the wind has picked up, the dogs might have an easier time sniffing out more human remains. Hadsell said those conditions make it easier for scents to emerge that “dogs can detect.”
But other factors could still come into play that disrupt the search dogs’ mission.
K9 Search Expert Talks Difficulties of Searching in Florida for Brian Laundrie Case
Though water has been the primary issue in locating these remains, it’s far from the last of the police and FBI’s concerns.
“This is Florida, so there are a lot of critters out there that want to come out and eat you,” Hadsell said. “A lot of these remains found in these wilderness areas are what we call ‘scattered remains.’ Because the critters have grabbed pieces of the body and have dragged them off. And that’s what we spend a lot of time searching — the other parts.”
He added, “When animals come through there and they’re looking for something to eat, they see the body and that’s an easy meal. Oftentimes, these critters just grab a piece and walk off with it.”
Leading them, in some cases, to separate pieces of the same body by miles. Hadsell’s worked with cadaver dogs before that detected a scent from a remain a mile away.
It’ll still be a day or two until we know for sure whether the partial remains belong to Brian Laundrie. But finding even more pieces could help the authorities come to a more concrete conclusion.
“If they don’t find all of the remains, they will probably wait until it completely dries out and they will be back to search for it again,” Hadsell continued.
After the FBI found the remains on Wednesday, Hadsell noticed that they set up a station to start identifying which parts they found.
“They put out a chart of the human skeleton, which serves like a map,” he said. “Every time a bone comes in, they will identify it with that chart, and slowly they will be able to put the pieces together.”