FLORIDA, Sept. 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, says he remains 100% sure that Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of homicide victim Gabby Petitio, is alive.
“I think he’s alive and well, and I mean he’s not well. He’s probably hungry,” Chapman told Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith in a Thursday interview on “Spicer and Co.” Chapman speculated that Laundrie is “Eat up with mosquitoes, and you know, his conscience is probably driving him crazy, so he’s nervous.”
Laundrie, 23, had been on an extended road trip with Petito in her van as she chronicled their “van life” travels for social media sites. The couple was seen in Utah at an Ogden Gallery, and Moab police stopped and interviewed the couple on Aug. 12 after witnesses called in to report a domestic violence incident, including one caller who said he saw Laundrie slapping Petito.
When officers interviewed Petito she claimed she had assaulted Laundrie. Officers separated the couple for the night, then they continued their trip, ultimately heading to Grand Teton National Park, where Petito’s body was was recovered on Sept. 19.
Laundrie returned to his parents’ home, alone, arriving Sept. 1, and disappearing again before Petito’s remains were located.
Chapman said in the interview Thursday that his Brian Laundrie tip line, 833-TELL-DOG, has brought in thousands of responses and hundreds of strong tips.
“We’re, you know — pardon the expression — right on his tail,” he said of Laundrie. “We’re getting calls like crazy. I think the success of this bounty hunt is going to be the tip line.”
Chapman said many of the calls he gets are to cheer him on or thank him, but at least 20% (an estimated 400) are positive leads he works with his team to pursue.
Earlier this week, tips led Chapman to a remote campsite on Florida’s Shell Island, and found a Monster energy drink can that appeared to have been discarded recently, he said. But Chapman said his team found no conclusive evidence Laundrie was still in the area.
Chapman, who assigned himself to the case last week, said he shares tips and evidence as he is able, taking care not to compromise his investigation.
It was Chapman’s tip that the Laundries had spent time at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, reportedly with Brian and parents arriving with Brian, then leaving without him. That allegation caused the attorney for the Laundries, who have released almost no details in the case, to confirm the trio had visited the campsite. The attorney said the trio also left together.
Asked how long Brian Laundrie could survive in the wild, Chapman said a long time.
“This kid has lived in the Appalachian Mountains for two months at a time, on his own,” the Bounty Hunter said. “You know he is an avid outdoorsman, so what I seen in the last couple of days searching these islands — there is plenty of food, if you like fish. And there’s other food in the ground…. The only problem he may have is clean water and I heard that there had been a water purifier purchase. So there’s enough, you know, to live off the land, for him to stay on the run for a long time.”
The hosts asked Chapman when he thought Laundrie would be found. Chapman predicted Laundrie would be in custody before his 24th birthday. That date is Nov. 18.
“You know I have opened my big mouth and stuck my foot in,” he said, laughing. “Before his birthday. I think he’ll be captured before his birthday.