Fugitives like Brian Laundrie “tend to attempt to find out” how to reach their “comfort zone” while on the run, according to former FBI agent Terry Turchie, and are frequently found in those locations.
“People don’t change because they become a fugitive,” Turchie told Fox News. “They tend to try to figure out how they can land in the comfort zone.”
Turchie has spent a year in the North Carolina mountains between 1998 and 1999 directing the search for Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph.
Because Laundrie enjoyed hiking and traveling, several experts have speculated that he might be out in the woods or on the road, and many possible sightings have lent credence to such theories. Others have speculated that the fugitive is closer to home and may be receiving assistance from a third party.
In an interview, Laundrie’s sister Cassandra described her brother as a “mediocre” survivalist.
“Clearly he’s not out in some camp or some cave somewhere on the hard, cold ground or … snake, gator-infested water. He’s somewhere where he’s probably being taken care of,” Turchie said. “When you see how he came running home after something obviously happened, that kind of tells you what he’s probably doing now.”
Turchie described how a man who shared some of Rudolph’s hobbies was a significant factor in the FBI’s quest for him in the 1990s. Rudolph had spent time with the man in his North Carolina health food business. The man eventually provided the FBI with valuable information about Rudolph after refusing to speak with the agency because he was ardently anti-government.
Laundrie may also be in the company of persons he knows or trusts. Driving to far-flung locations is “exactly the kind of thing that that may very well be what he’s doing,” Turchie said, but he’d need money to do so. A minor traffic mishap might also cut “his fugitive run pretty short.”
While each fugitive is unique, they always “tire eventually,” and “many of them ended up being on the run for …. well over a decade,” according to Turchie, who believes Laundrie will not be on the run for that long.
“But the formula is essentially the same,” the former FBI agent said of the search process. “You interview as many people who need this person as you can. You continue following that. You talk to neighbors, friends, and you look for anything [the fugitive] might have said during a time that he didn’t have this guard up where he hadn’t done anything.”
Turchie believes those clues will eventually bring officials to Laundrie in the same way they have led them to other fugitives.
Laundrie, 23, is wanted on suspicion of debit card fraud and is a suspect in the homicide of his 22-year-old fiancée, Gabby Petito, who went missing on Sept. 11. The last time Laundrie’s family saw him was on September 13th.