- A private investigator told Insider the chance of finding a missing person alive after 2 weeks in the wild is “minimal”.
- But PI John Van Steenkiste also said that someone with strong survival skills could survive.
- His comments come from an ongoing search for Gabby Petito, a missing 22-year-old woman.
Loading Something is loading.
The clock is ticking as law enforcement and family members search for Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared with her boyfriend during a month-long road trip.
Petito’s mother reported her daughter missing earlier this week after her daughter’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, died on Jan.
But a private investigator told Insider that the chances of finding anyone alive two weeks after she disappeared are slim.
Harvey Morse, a private investigator for Florida-based private investigator Locators International Inc., said the overall likelihood of finding a person alive after going missing for two weeks in the wild is “minimal”.
He named dangerous terrain, hunger and extreme weather as possible threats.
“If that person was alive when they left but was trapped in a cave, room, building, or locked up, they won’t be able to eat for weeks,” Morse said.
“Assuming it was hot, that person will be dehydrated,” he added.
Petito, a Van Life vlogger, last spoke to her family in late August.
Since returning home without Petito, Laundrie has hired a lawyer and has not worked with investigators. North Port, Florida police named him a person of interest on Wednesday.
Petito’s stepfather James Schmidt and a family friend traveled to Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Valley Tuesday to look for the missing woman. According to police, Petito’s last known whereabouts are said to be in the state’s Grand Teton National Park.
“They’re trying to stay as close as possible to Grand Teton National Park. That’s the closest they can find so they can spend as much time as possible looking for Gabby,” says Schmidt and the lawyer the Petito Richard Stafford family told insider Natalie Musumeci.
Guillermo Hechevarria, a detective at Investigation Services Unlimited in Florida, told Insiders that he believed Laundrie Petito most likely left Petito alive somewhere in the Tetons. But he added that Laundrie, who hires a lawyer, is suggesting that the police may also want to look for a body within a 1 mile radius of Laundrie’s childhood home.
Petito’s family blew up Laundrie on Wednesday, asked him to work with investigators, and called his silence “reprehensible”. Petito’s parents accused Laundrie of “leaving Petito in the wild with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits comfortably at home”.
Van Steenkiste, however, gave a glimmer of hope when he told Insiders that if they had strong survival skills, it would not be unlikely that someone would be found alive in a national park after being missing for weeks.
If “she has good survival skills, this is a good possibility,” he said. “It is a possibility.”
Correction 09/20/2021: In an earlier version of this story, quotes from Harvey Morse were incorrectly assigned.