Williams: cops know more than they're saying, warrant may have been issued
The Florida police investigating Gabby Petito's disappearance know more than they say at the time, according to former detective Ted Williams.
Petito has been missing for almost a month: her mother Nicole Schmidt last spoke to her daughter on August 25, and the family filed a missing person report on September 11. Police named Brian Laundrie, Petito's fiancé, a person of interest this week as the search for Petito intensified.
Police entered Laundrie's home Friday night, after which Laundrie's parents told officers they hadn't seen their son since Tuesday.
Williams, a lawyer and former detective in Washington, D.C., told Fox News that the police will likely know more than they say when they walk in the house.
"Law enforcement knows a lot more about Gabby and her disappearance than they reveal at this point," Williams said. "I suspect the police suspect a foul is going on here, so they are trying to keep a close eye on Brian at this point."
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Since Laundrie is a person of interest, the police would not and could not restrict his movements. Williams noted that even if Laundrie were a suspect, police wouldn't necessarily be able to restrict his movements.
Ordinarily, the police would have to speak to Laundrie's attorney to get permission to see or speak to him, but once the officers receive an arrest warrant they can act as necessary without consulting.
"It's more likely than not that they received a warrant to search this house," Williams explained. "If someone in charge of your home voluntarily lets you in, they can do a search. It is likely that the authorities have received a warrant and are searching this apartment."
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"You don't need to speak to Brian's lawyer under any circumstances," Williams said.
The police did not enter the house until 6:20 p.m. Friday with what appeared to be an envelope of evidence and came back two hours later with a bag. The authorities left the property shortly before 9 p.m.
The police also emphasized that Laundrie was not a suspect.
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"It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime," North Port police said in a statement Friday. It added that the investigation was now a "multiple missing person" case.
However, Petito's family has insisted that Laundrie not be absent, but actually "hide".
“All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian isn't missing, he's hiding. Gabby is missing, "Richard B. Stafford's law firm, attorney for the Petito and Schmidt families, said in a statement.
Williams speculated that, given the intense media and public attention on the case and presence outside of his parents' home, Laundrie could have been hiding with a friend.
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