After Laundrie returned to Florida without Petito, police saw him drive away from his family home September 13 in his Ford Mustang, Taylor told WINK. Then, two days later, the Mustang returned.
“We thought that we had seen Brian come back into the home,” Taylor said.
Police now believe the car had actually been driven back to the home by Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, Taylor said.
But for the next two days, police believed Brian Laundrie was at home.
Laundrie family lawyer notes another police gap
As to the Mustang’s driver on September 15, “I believe it was his mom, who was wearing a baseball cap,” Taylor said. “They had returned from the park with that Mustang.
“So, who does that, right?” the police spokesperson continued. “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. So, the individual getting out with a baseball cap, we thought was Brian.”
Police, however, had placed a citation by September 14 on the Mustang while it was parked at the nature reserve, the Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino, pointed out Tuesday.
“Everyone makes mistakes. But Brian and Roberta are not ‘built’ the same. Moreover, it was (North Port police) that put the ticket on the Mustang at the park and if they saw Brian leave on Monday in the Mustang, which is news to me, then they should have been watching the Mustang and the park starting on Monday and they would have known it was Chris and Roberta that retrieved the Mustang from the park.
“Now to be clear, none this may have made a difference with respect to Brian’s life but it certainly would have prevented all of the false accusations leveled by so many against Chris and Roberta with respect to ‘hiding’ Brian or otherwise financing an ‘escape,'” Bertolino added.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison was asked September 16 during a news conference if he knew where Laundrie was “right now.”
“Yes,” Garrison responded.
The Laundries later told police they had gone to the nature preserve on September 15 to retrieve the family vehicle.
“Let the record be clear, the Laundries reported Brian did not come home the night he went out for the hike,” Bertolino told CNN last week. “I actually reported that to the FBI, personally.”
CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.