Duane “Dog” Chapman shared more theories about Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts in a new interview with TMZ Monday, suggesting that he is still alive. The Dog the Bounty Hunter star also does not think Laundie would have escaped the U.S. and believes Laundrie could survive in the wilderness. Laundrie is a person of interest in the death of Gabby Petito and is wanted on a federal arrest warrant for a debit card fraud charge.
At the start of his interview with TMZ‘s Harvey Levin, Chapman said he does not believe Laundrie, 23, is suicidal because he has seen no evidence of that. Levin also asked Chapman why Laundrie would not be further from his parents’ home. Chapman, who spent the past week still searching in Florida, pointed out that Laundrie is a survivalist, having spent months at a time by himself on the Appalachian Trail.
“Is he here right now? I’m not sure,” Dog said. “[Was] he here a few days ago? Absolutely. But he could have got out during [the] night. Then he’d have to have help from, I guess it might be close to a family member, and you know, he’s taken off somewhere else.” Chapman does not believe Laundrie is in Mexico or Brazil. He believes if Laundrie were in Mexico, someone desperate for the reward would have turned him in.
At the end of his TMZ interview, Chapman said he did turn some of the items his team found to the FBI for DNA testing. The Dog’s Most Wanted star focused his search on Fort De Soto Park, where Laundrie and his family camped in early September. He was still searching the area this weekend as he posted a video of himself wading in water in the area on Instagram. “The search has continued throughout the weekend on the islands off the west coast of Florida,” his team wrote.
Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip they were chronicling on social media when Petito went missing in late August. Laundrie arrived back at his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 without Petito, whose parents in New York reported her missing on Sept. 11. Laundrie’s parents claimed they had not seen him since Sept. 14, and he was reported missing on Sept. 17. Petito’s remains were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19. Chapman joined the search for Laundrie a few days later when he showed up at home Laundrie shared with his parents.
Over the weekend, hiker Dennis Davis told the New York Post he allegedly saw Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail, near the North Carolina-Tennessee border. Chapman’s daughter, Lyssa Chapman, said her father is taking Davis’ tip seriously. “I do believe Dennis. I am convinced he’s convinced,” Lyssa told the New York Post Sunday. “We’re doing everything we can to verify Dennis’ tip, but there isn’t much to go off other than the location. But we’re working that tip for sure.”