One of the police chiefs in charge of the Brian Laundrie case admitted to “human error” during the investigation for the missing man.
North Port Police Department Chief Todd Garrison and his team began questioning and keeping tabs on the Laundrie family after Gabby Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11. Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, had returned to North Port, Florida, by then and disappeared on Sept. 13.
Garrison recently spoke at a community forum, according to The New York Post. While there, he admitted that his department “made a mistake” when they mistook Brian’s mother Roberta for him when she returned to the house on Sept. 15.
“As a leader, what do I do?” Garrison said .“No, people want open transparency and honesty from their law enforcement officials. Yes, we made a mistake. It was human error, but I still stand behind my team.”
The NPPD kept cameras trained on the house after Petito’s family reported her missing. They registered that Brian Laundrie left the house, and they believed he returned to it on Sept. 15. But it ended up being his mother that they saw return to the house that day.
Authorities discovered Laundrie’s partial remains at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in the Carlton Reserve on Oct. 21. The police now believe that even if they had registered that it was Roberta, not Brian, who had returned on Sept. 15, Biran likely still would’ve been dead already.
“Now we know that, by the time we became the lead agency, Brian had already left the house and presumably had already been deceased out in the Carlton Reserve,” Garrison said.
Florida Sheriff Reveals Brian Laundrie Likely Killed Himself
Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman worked with Chief Todd Garrison to hunt down Brian Laundrie for over a month. They combed through the Carlton Reserve but did not find anything until about five weeks after his family reported him missing.
Laundrie’s initial autopsy reports came back inconclusive. But during that same community forum, Hoffman claimed that “[Laundrie] by all accounts probably committed suicide.”
At this moment, authorities are attempting to salvage a notebook belonging to Laundrie found near his remains. The contents of the notebook may contain a suicide note or clues about whether he was involved in Gabby Petito’s murder. But the notebook might also be irreparable or contain nothing related to Laundrie or Petito.
Despite several sightings of “Brian Laundrie” across the country, Hoffman said the police were right to keep searching in the Carlton Reserve.
“That guy went out there and by all accounts probably committed suicide. And he was right out there where we thought he was,” Hoffman said. “There was four feet of water out there at the time.”