South Florida lawyer and former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan believes the FBI is “spread too thin” amidst enormous pressure from the American public over Gabby Petito’s missing fiance, Brian Laundrie.
The only person of interest in the case, Brian Laundrie remains at large for the fourth week in a row. Now, Florida police officers are confirming that the FBI is leading the search for the 23-year-old wanted man.
According to one former FBI agent and current Florida attorney, Stuart Kaplan, however, the FBI is ill-equipped for this manhunt.
“Do I think that they can sustain 24 hours, seven days a week searching for this guy? Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous,” Kaplan tells The Sun Sunday.
“The FBI is not tasked or mandated to investigate homicides. Homicides obviously are part of criminal enterprises, whether it’s organized crime or, God forbid there’s a bank robbery and someone gets shot and killed, but routinely a single homicide is not within the jurisdiction of the FBI,” he details.
“I don’t want to sound callous or heartless, but it’s a homicide of one person as tragic as it is,” Kaplan cites. And he’s right. So why, then, is the FBI still leading the charge?
From his time with the bureau, Kaplan believes it all boils down to the “enormous pressure” being but on the FBI by the American public.
America’s Laser-Focus on Gabby Petito Case Is Straining the FBI’s Investigation, Former Agent Says
“Realizing the scope and breadth of this investigation, the FBI came in,” he says. “They are certainly equipped to track down and conduct leads and go out and serve subpoenas and interviews, etc.
“The general public is now beating on doors and demanding that this case be solved,” Kaplan adds. “And so the FBI has that pressure, that’s the real life political spin on this, right?”
The lawyer feels it is “unacceptable” that neighbors and average citizens continue to park outside the home of Laundrie’s sister, Cassie. They’re “demanding that she come out and answer their questions,” he says, which is ludicrous.
“We live here in the United States and we do not have that legal obligation to cooperate or to talk to anybody. We can keep our mouths shut,” he offers.
“But once the FBI is thrust into the limelight, and this is one of my criticisms of the FBI, the agency is spread too thin with not enough resources to really be able to be as effective as they could be in kind of sticking to their mission statement,” Kaplan continues.
Identifying Brian Laundrie Is Now a ‘Needle in a Haystack’ Situation
According to Kaplan, the “difficulty” for the FBI now lies with Brian Laundrie “[looking] like the normal average American guy, right? So it’s going to be a needle in a haystack.
“And of course, the fact that when he went missing, his hair was short or almost bald. Now, he could easily grow his hair and his appearance can drastically change where it may be very difficult to identify him,” the former agent adds.
“It may come down to facial recognition… If he enters into an airport or to someplace that is utilizing that type of technology. But again, it’s going to take a tip.”