(WJW) — The attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family slammed TV host John Walsh Thursday over theories he shared about Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts during a special report on the Gabby Petito case.
Walsh, host of “In Pursuit with John Walsh,” said in a new interview he believes Laundrie could be in Mexico but that wherever he is, he believes his parents are helping him.
“The parents are what’s keeping him out there,” Walsh said Wednesday on “Gabby Petito: ID Special Report.”
In response, the Laundrie’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, told FOX News, “Dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity-hungry egos some food.”
FOX News reports that a spokesperson said Walsh had no comment on the lawyer’s attack.
However, Duane “Dog” Chapman, more commonly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, did.
“It’s ironic that Mr. Bertolino would criticize the people trying to find Brian Laundrie, unless perhaps he doesn’t want him to be found,” Chapman told FOX News.
Attorney Steve Bertolino issued a statement via text, calling Petito’s death a tragedy but doubled down on her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, being only a person of interest in her death.
“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise,” Bertolino wrote. “At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
However, Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, rejected his comment.
“His words are garbage. Keep talking,” she wrote in a text to WFLA’s J.B. Biunno.
Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the death of Gabby Petito, who died sometime after Aug. 25 while they were on a cross-country road trip.
The back-and-forth comes after a coroner in Wyoming confirmed Petito’s cause of death to be strangulation and the manner of death to be homicide.
Authorities have searched for him in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, where his parents told them he could be.
Walsh said in a clip from his interview posted on The Daily Mail that he believes Laundrie either hiding out in the park or that he went to Mexico.
“It’s a great time to be heading south, there’s thousands of refugees…he could walk across the border naked with his hair on fire and no one would notice him. I think that maybe where he’s hiding, and somebody might be helping him,” said Walsh.
But Walsh also said he’s received many tips that Laundrie could be hiding on the Appalachian Trail and some with his possibly being seen in the Bahamas.
“I don’t think Brian is that good of a survivalist,” Walsh adds, “I’m banking on the Mexico thing, or they’re dropped him somewhere where someone is paying for him, but the parents are what’s keeping him out there.”