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Local Police Department Admits To Crucial Error Right After Brian Laundrie Went Missing

Brian Laundrie.
Brian Laundrie. Photo Credit: Instagram

Police involved in the missing person case of Gabby Petito have acknowledged they made a mistake in their surveillance of Brain Laundrie.

The North Port Police Department in Sarasota County, Florida, said in an interview on Monday, Oct. 25 with CNN affiliate WINK-TV that officers mistook Brian Laundrie's mother for him while running surveillance.

"They are built kind of similarly," North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor said when speaking about the case.  

When pressed again about the mistake, Taylor said, "No case is perfect."

The mistake does clear up one timeline when Laundrie's parents drove his car home from the Carlton Reserve after he went missing. 

Police thought it was Brian Laundrie returning home from the reserve when it was his mother wearing a baseball hat. 

"They had returned from the park with that Mustang," he said to WINK. "So who does that, right? If you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re gonna bring his car back to the home? So it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there. So the individual getting out with a baseball cap, we thought was Brian."

Investigators realized the mistake on Friday, Sept. 17, when his parents told police they hadn't seen their son since Tuesday, Sept. 14. 

They later changed their story, saying they hadn't seen him since Monday, Sept. 13.

Laundrie's remains were found last week at the nature reserve near his family home. A cause of death has not been determined.

Petito, age 22, a Long Island native from the hamlet of Blue Point in Suffolk County, and Laundrie, age 23, were on a cross-country road trip when she stopped communicating with her mother in late August.

She was reported missing on Saturday, Sept. 11 after the family learned Laundrie had returned home to Florida on Wednesday, Sept. 1, in Petito's van by himself.

Her body was found a week later at a campsite in the mountains of Wyoming. A coroner ruled Petito died by strangulation.

Laundrie refused to speak to investigators when she was reported missing. 

This continues to be an ongoing story. Check back to the Daily Voice for updates.

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