TAMPA, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — During NewsNation’s one-hour special report on the Gabby Petito case, former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer joins Marni Hughes and Brian Entin to answer some of your questions about the death of the YouTuber and search for her boyfriend.
We know Brian Laundrie is now wanted on a federal arrest warrant for bank fraud. What do you make of that?
“When crimes happen, they commit smaller crimes usually along the way,” Coffindaffer said. “And in this case, he had unauthorized access of the device, which was basically using her credit card or her debit card, actually. And that is the crime that they were actually able to charge him with.”
So do they (the FBI) basically use that crime? If he’s alive to get him in? And then try to add more on is that sort of how this works?
“Absolutely,” Coffindaffer said. “The the FBI has over 200 violations that they can use that they have, you know, the ability to charge people with. When you commit a crime of any of those, you’re able to be brought in and charged.”
What do you make of Brian Laundrie? And do you think he’s alive right now?
“I think Brian Laundrie is alive,” Coffindaffer said. “I think that is why a lawyer has been retained. I think that the family and Brian disappeared for three days. What did they do in that time? And I think that’s important information for the FBI and local and state law enforcement to be looking at because I think those are going to lead to where Brian Laundrie is at.”
Do Laundrie’s parents have reason to be worried right now? Is the FBI going to come knocking on their door?
“He came home on the first alone after this trip,” Coffindaffer said. “They have not cooperated. Not provided information. They loaded up and left for three days. What did they do? Did they do what it took to conceal Brian’s whereabouts right now? I think that is what the evidence is pointing to.”
At what point in this investigation will the authorities be able to put more pressure on Laundrie’s parents to talk about what they know? Also, do we know if they’re currently under surveillance?
“There’s obviously pressure on the Laundries,” Entin said. “I’ve been out here. We see a lot of unmarked cars out here. A lot of people who look like they might be federal agents. So it’s our assumption, there’s definitely surveillance going on.”
Why in such a high-profile case, with Laundrie being the only person of interest did he not have like an FBI agent or like a local police officer watching his every move?
“If you look at the timeline, there was not a crime that was committed, really until a body was found,” Coffindaffer said. “And then it wasn’t confirmed to be a homicide until two days after that once the coroner’s report was reached, so you cannot conduct surveillance and spend that type of manpower when a crime hasn’t even been committed yet.”
The Carlton Reserve website states that they’ve had trail cams since 2006, and that 10 are currently operational. I’m just wondering if there’s been any discussion with law enforcement about the utility or the existence of these trail cams.
“We know the trail cams are out there,” Entin said. “What was so interesting yesterday when we were at the reserve, this massive Verizon Wireless truck showed up and went into the reserve with a satellite dish. Many people are wondering, are they setting up more Wi-Fi trail cams in the reserve that need the Wi-Fi and the cell service that doesn’t exist out there? So for sure, there are definitely trail cams.”
Is there any reason the FBI isn’t resuming the search at night with infrared technology looking for bodies of heat?
“I think that’s making the assumption that that is not happening,” Coffindaffer said. “We don’t know if the drones and so forth that they’re using, are they actually using those sophisticated techniques right now? Secondly, let’s consider where the initial evidence came from that Brian was at this reserve. It came from Brian, he passed it on to his family, his family then passed it on to law enforcement. And they had to go and do their due diligence following up on that, but they’re also considering where the source of that information was from. And remember, they’re not just conducting that investigation. They are simultaneously going down all the other avenues to help get them to Brian.”
The search that was conducted at the Laundrie family residence on Monday, Sept. 20. When should we be expecting to hear what if anything came with that search? I know it was a lot of digital hard drives, etc.
“She mentioned that digital hard drive, let me clarify that actually came from Gabby’s van,” Entin said. “We know they’re going through that now. As for all of the boxes of evidence, they came right through this garage that you see behind us right here, box after box after box.”
“They are poring through all of that evidence with a fine tooth comb,” Coffindaffer said. “They’re looking for indicia of a crime. They’re looking for DNA evidence they’re looking for any evidence that could point to what happened to Gabby.”