If it feels like you can't blink without missing an absolutely mind-boggling update on the manhunt for Brian Laundrie, it's because you in fact can't blink without missing an absolutely mind-boggling update on the manhunt for Brian Laundrie.
At first, the date that the 23-year-old wanted fugitive was last seen was Tuesday, Sept. 14. He allegedly left his parents' home in North Port, Florida, for a solo hike at the nearby Carlton Reserve and never returned. Christopher and Roberta Laundrie reportedly waited until Friday, Sept. 17 to notify authorities that their son was missing.
Weeks later, the family's attorney, Steven Bertolino, said there had been a mistake – that the last time Chris and Roberta saw Brian was actually one day before, on Monday, Sept. 13.
Now, Bertolino claims the FBI knew about Brian's missing status "from day one," insisting there was "no discrepancy between the FBI and the Laundries."
In an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, Bertolino said he and Brian's parents "notified the FBI that night or the next morning that Brian didn't come home from his hike. So, the FBI was aware that Brian didn't come home from day one."
But the North Port Police Department – which has been working closely with the FBI on the case – is calling BS.
The public was informed that Brian had vanished on Sept. 17. On Thursday, Sept. 16, NPPD Chief Todd Garrison told reporters that he knew where Brian was at that moment.
"Yes," Garrison responded when he was asked whether he was aware of Brian's whereabouts, one day before it was announced that he was gone.
Bertolino claimed today that's because he did not have direct contact with the NPPD "in the next three days."
"There was never any communication between myself and law enforcement in the next three days. They never asked me, and I never informed them that Brian didn't come home," he told the outlet, adding that the "North Port PD was under the assumption that Brian was home."
- Brian Laundrie's Parents Christopher & Roberta Notified FBI Their Son Was Missing On September 13th, Not 17th As Previously Reported
- Brian Laundrie's Parents Chris & Roberta Claim They Haven't Heard From FBI Or North Port Police Since Son's Bones Were Identified
- Neighbors Say Brian Laundrie Was Seen Running Out Of His Backyard Days After His Parents Claim He Disappeared
According to Bertolino, there was confusion after authorities told him and the Laundrie parents on Sept. 17 that they had received a tip that Brian was in Tampa.
"They wanted to meet with us on Friday. I was shocked and said, 'That's good. You found him in Tampa,' and they said, 'What do you mean? I thought he's at the house,'" Bertolino recalled. "I said, 'No, I told you the other day he never came home.' And that's how it played out."
Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the NPPD, fired back at the seemingly confused attorney's recollection of events, telling Fox News Digital in an email that in "no way was any of the NPPD's actions, comments, or reporting reflective of the NPPD having information that Brian Laundrie was missing on that Monday the 13th."
"Please keep in mind that NPPD was an assisting agency until Tuesday night September 14th," he wrote. "I'm confident that if that were true, the information would have been relayed."
On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the "skeletal remains" of a human believed to Brian as well as two of his personal belongings were discovered in the Carlton Reserve, mere hours after Chris and Roberta finally decided to join the weeks-long search for their son.
A former FBI agent believes the parents cut a deal and will receive immunity in exchange for helping with the investigation, but that has not been confirmed.
Brian is the sole person of interest in the murder by manual strangulation of his 22-year-old fiancée, Gabby Petito.