Arresting Brian Laundrie's parents 'could be tricky' if no further evidence presented

Manhunt intensifies for Brian Laundrie after initial autopsy

Criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh provides legal perspective on Gabby Petito investigation.

It “could be tricky” for law enforcement to arrest Brian Laundrie’s parents for not sharing information with law enforcement if no further evidence is presented against them, according to a Florida-based criminal defense attorney.

Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the FBI’s investigation into deceased 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s disappearance and homicide. 

“If the parents lawyered up very early on and they haven’t really made any statements other than to friends prior to this becoming an investigation [into] Brian Laundrie, then it may be kind of tricky. It may be difficult because I’m not sure what crime they committed,” Ajay Pallegar, managing attorney at Pallegar Law in Tampa, Florida, told Fox News.

Brian Laundrie’s father leaving his house (Fox News)

Laundrie’s parents could be charged with an “an accomplice-type liability” such as “aiding and abetting” if they were involved in hiding a weapon, covering up a crime, or they could face more serious charges for being directly involved in criminal activity, he explained.

“Without more evidence…it could be tricky,” he said. 

Laundrie returned home from Wyoming, where Petito’s remains were discovered Sunday, on Sept. 1 in Petito’s white Ford Transit van. Petito’s parents reported her missing on Sept. 11. 

Laundrie’s parents, who hired an attorney when Petito was reported missing, told authorities on Sept. 17 that they had not seen him since Sept. 14. The family released very little information since Petito vanished.

Brian Laundrie
(North Port Police)

“It sounds like they spoke to an attorney, and the attorney advised them very early on what to do very early on because there could be some sort of foul play going on. … It’s really hard to tell given the limited amount of information out there,” Pallegar said, especially considering the main person of interest in the case is now missing.

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Neighbors of the Laundries, Charlene and William Guthrie, told Fox News’ “The Story” on Wednesday that they saw the Laundries leave the house in their truck with a camper attached “for the weekend.”

It’s still “early on” in the investigation, which could take months, Pallegar said, though the progression of the case thus far has been quick. 

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“It’s way too early to determine who could get charged with a crime here, since law enforcement has such limited evidence that they’re making public,” he explained. “But it is possible that something could come of this.”

“There has to be an analysis of the crime in order for an arrest to potentially be made,”  Pallegar said.

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