'They Are Built Kind of Similarly': Police Admit Mistaking Brian Laundrie's Mother for Him During Escape


According to recent reports, police unintentionally let Brian Laundrie slip through their fingers shortly before his disappearance.

A spokesperson for the North Port Police Department said as much on Monday, admitting that Flordia cops accidentally mistook the fugitive’s mother for Laundrie and — instead of continuing surveillance on Laundrie — followed her instead, helping facilitate Laundrie’s escape.

“They are built kind of similarly,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor told WINK-TV.

Taylor told WINK-TV that his department “began tracking Brian” shortly after the death of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito.

Watch: Fatherless Kids Look Up Scripture After Receiving Free Shoes from Christian NBA Star

Police watched Laundrie leave his parents’ home in his Mustang on Monday, Sept. 13 and then witnessed what they thought to be his return in the very same Mustang on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

As it turns out, the individual that came home in Laundrie’s Mustang was not Laundrie himself, but rather his mother, Roberta.

Nevertheless, on Thursday of that week, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison seemed convinced he knew of Laundrie’s location, saying “All I’m going to say is we know where Brian Laundrie is at.”

When Laundrie’s parents reported their son missing that Friday, however, police realized they had made a mistake.

Did Florida police let Brian Laundrie slip through their fingers?

“They had returned from the park with that Mustang. So who does that? Right? Like, if you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re going to bring his car back to the home. So it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there,” Taylor said, according to WINK-TV.

“So the individual getting out with a baseball cap we thought was Brian.”

The story of Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito has been dominating headlines for weeks following the disappearance and subsequent discovery of Petito’s body. On Oct. 20, the remains, backpack and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie were also discovered.

The FBI later confirmed that a comparison of dental records had confirmed remains were indeed Laundrie’s.

This discovery came at the end of a weeks-long manhunt for Laundrie involving federal, state and local officials.

'You Should Go Back to Guarding Doritos': Rep. Fallon's Can't-Miss Questioning of Cheatle

The manhunt began shortly after Laundrie’s disappearance on Sept. 14, two weeks after the 23-year-old returned home alone from a cross-country road trip both he and Petito had initially set out on.

Given that Laundrie returned home to his parents without Petito, speculation subsequently ran rampant over his possible involvement in her death.

Despite his demise, Laundrie remains a person of interest in the case of Gabby Petito’s death.

It is quite possible Laundrie would still be alive to answer questions if not for his escape from the police.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , ,
Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment