Human remains were discovered among Brian Laundrie’s things in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park after a month-long search.
However it has not yet been determined whether or not the bones are actually those of Laundrie.
Despite the best efforts of the North Port Police Department and the FBI, no fresh information on his whereabouts has emerged in over a month.
And the few sightings that have been reported from different parts of the country have been mostly disproven.
Can Brian Laundrie be Triied in Absentia?
If murder charges are filed against Laundrie and he is never found, the question of whether or not he can be tried in absentia for Petito’s killing remains unanswered.
Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that if an accused person escapes during a trial, they may be tried and convicted in absentia.
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Laundrie, however, is an exception to this rule because he has never had a court date or been arrested, despite their being an active arrest warrant for him.
Thus, it would be impossible to try him in his absence. More importantly, the Supreme Court’s decision in Crosby v.
United States in 1993 “prohibits the trial in absentia of a defendant who is not present at the opening of trial.”
This virtually precludes Laundrie’s trial until he can be located and brought in for prosecution.
Can His Parents Be Charged With a Crime?
So yet, the only prosecution to come out of the Gabby Petito case is a bank fraud accusation against Mr. Laundrie for using Ms. Petito’s debit card after he left her in Wyoming and, presumably, after she died.
Mr. Laundrie’s family has not been charged, and it is uncertain whether they ever will be.
Prior to the issuance of the warrant for Mr. Laundrie’s arrest, the Laundrie parents had every right to provide any assistance they saw fit for their son.
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For the past month, local and federal authorities have combed a Florida nature reserve covering nearly 25,000 acres in search of Brian Laundrie, the fiance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito.
After Petito and her boyfriend started their cross-country road trip during the summer, her parents reported her missing last month.
Parents told authorities that Laundrie returned in Petito’s van on September 1 and went hiking in the neighbouring Carlton Reserve around two weeks later.