The County Sheriff in the local Gulf Coast-area county of Florida where Brian Laundrie‘s remains were found earlier this month is opening up a bit about the investigation into the young man’s death.
Kurt Hoffman, who is the Sheriff of Sarasota County, Florida, outside Tampa, spoke publicly about the ongoing investigation during a panel discussion held by several local law enforcement leaders on Saturday.
While answering questions from audience members at the panel discussion regarding local law enforcement issues in that part of Florida, Sheriff Hoffman was asked about the search for Laundrie, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
According to that report, Hoffman openly praised the work of North Port Police Department Chief Todd Garrison throughout this entire ordeal. Of course, Garrison and his department have repeatedly come under fire for making significant mistakes when they were first trying to track and observe Laundrie while investigating the prior death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito.
Regarding the North Port PD’s work, as well as Laundrie’s probable cause of death, Hoffman stated during the panel discussion (below):
“We talked probably 20 times during that situation and obviously we supported them out in the preserve looking for Brian Laundrie. I told them: ‘you guys were right.’ That guy went out there and by all accounts probably committed suicide and he was right out there where we thought he was. There was four feet of water out there at the time.”
It’s easy to say after the fact that Laundrie was “right where we thought he was,” but obviously he was NOT where they thought he was at first, which was still at home — after mistaking his mother for him.
Hoffman did not offer any evidence behind his manner of death assertion. Let’s hope these cops have more information about their investigation into Petito’s death that they aren’t releasing to the public or something — and aren’t merely speculating…
Speaking of Garrison, he too was present at that very same panel discussion on Saturday, and he was clearly pretty touchy about the public’s uniformly critical response of his department’s work on the Petito-Laundrie case.
Acknowledging how his team screwed up by mistaking Brian for his mother, as well as letting him out of their sights in the first place, Garrison mostly seemed to justify admitting these mistakes to the public:
“As a leader, what do I do? Do I not tell the public what’s going on, do we conceal it, cover it up? No, people want open, transparency and honesty from their law enforcement officials. Yes, we made a mistake it was human error but I still stand behind my team.”
In fact, the North Port Police Chief wouldn’t stop defending his team over that erroneous mis-identification.
Later in the discussion, he added:
“As a 30-year veteran doing surveillance, this is not uncommon and if any expert out there says it is, they’re lying to you. I can tell you one thing, the amount of work that was done, behind the scenes, 24 hours a day, from our team and the FBI team working on the second floor of the police department, was phenomenal work.”
Such “phenomenal work” that his guys are now blaming Brian Laundrie’s parents for why they couldn’t do their jobs. Do we have that right???
Reactions, Perezcious readers? What do U think of Sheriff Hoffman’s assessment on Laundrie’s “probable” manner of death?
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