Van lifer goes missing on cross country trip with fiancee

The coroner made an interesting comment, possibly a slip-up, in response to a question about what it was like working under all the media attention this case was getting. He said it was unfortunate that all the other victims of domestic abuse weren’t getting that kind of attention. If the thinking of law enforcement is that this was domestic violence then there is likely only some tactical reason that Laundrie hasn’t formally been charged with murder yet.

My main thinking is it’s much easier to still find housing in rural communities where you can pay on a cash basis. In the 70s and 80s even in big cities that wasn’t hard, but I think it’d be really hard these days, in built up areas a lot of land lords do not even rent to someone who doesn’t submit to a credit check these days. Meanwhile where I grew up in rural Appalachia, one of my cousins and her family rent a house they’ve been renting for like 20 years from an elderly man. They don’t even have a lease, verbal agreement and they pay in cash.

I thought strangulation would be the cause. The trachea is so vulnerable to compression.

I was concerned soft tissue loss (3 weeks exposure) might make a definitive ruling difficult.

Yup. No one will notice another skinny, bald guy in New York. Gray hair dye would add 25 years to his appearance.

Even in big cities, it’s still possible to rent without a credit check or lease and pay cash. It won’t be an apartment in a nice , big apartment building but if you are open to other alternatives ( like renting one bedroom in a house/apt where strangers are renting the other bedrooms) you can still pay cash and avoid a credit check/lease.

Maybe so. But as someone who is a landlord in a suburban area, I think about things like code enforcement, fire marshal inspections etc. Those happen every year. If I’m on the lam, I probably don’t want to live somewhere that things like that happen. Some rural counties don’t think even have inspection programs for rentals in my state for example.

Reading between the lines of the coroner’s guarded comments, apparently it was difficult. That’s probably why they announced “homicide” as a finding right away, but it took this long to definitively establish strangulation. The coroner refused to elaborate on how they established this.

This is why I think he’s not living in the swamp catching his dinner. Aside from the attempted surveillance no one was looking for him for about a week. He parents could have picked up a vehicle off of craig’s list for cash so the seller never saw him and he could have jumped in a driven off. There are about a hundred border crossings and while it looks good on TV there is no way they are using NSA computers to check every one of them for a 1 week period hoping to catch sight of him.

If it was me I wouldn’t stay in Mexico I’d keep driving south assuming he speaks some minimal amount of spanish it probably would take much to find a coyote to take him to Colombia or south and once he left Mexico he’s not high enough priority for him to be found.

It doesn’t take NSA computers to check video surveillance, your idea of that is a good 30 years out of date if you think that would be a heavy lift. I also find it very unlikely the parents bought a car on craigslist, the risks of that are huge especially if that seller ever notices that the person they sold the car to was Laundrie’s parents. They would have no security in knowing if that happened or not. Also I don’t know where you are that you think you would sell a car and not transfer title, which creates a paper trail. Now maybe the parents would be like “nah we don’t care about the paper work”, but that would be a way to make the transaction REALLY stand out, and make someone think after the fact.

The risk is just too high.

While I think his parents were willing to help him not talk to police, I’m actually skeptical they helped him “escape.” The whole car being left at the reserve and etc, adds a wrinkle to it that actually just complicates things. If they really helped him escape I don’t think the reserve would be involved at all.

If they really wanted to help him escape they’d have taken out a home equity loan or drawn from lines of credit and gotten him tens of thousands of dollars, and sent him on his way. A few hundred bucks and a theoretical craigslist car that the seller doesn’t do the paper work on and taking the risk they’re not remembered…I dunno, that does very little for him. Brian is an emotionally fragile white boy from the suburbs, the idea that he’s going to make his way in fucking Mexico or other parts of Central America by himself with a few hundred bucks and a cheap car is hilariously absurd, probably even more absurd than him pretending to be Bear Grylls.

Nah, the fact the car was left at the reserve makes me think he went in, and never came out. I think if I’m putting odds on it, suicide is the leading candidate by a significant margin.

IANA forensic pathologist, but I understand it’s hard to strangle a person without crushing or breaking the hyoid bone.

That topic came up from Epstein’s suicide as being a bit pop-culturish. While it’s true the hyoid bone is frequently broken in a strangling, it’s not a 1:1 relationship, or close enough to one, to be a definitive proof of strangulation. In Epstein’s case IIRC it was specifically mentioned that in older people, you more commonly see the hyoid broken in suicides than you do in younger people, but it’s all just rough statements, there’s no guarantees either way.

I doubt it would be very easy. For one thing, the coyotes are going to know that an American guy who wants to make an illegal crossing south is probably guilty of something so they’re going to take advantage of him.

Yeah, this kid would get eaten alive by anything 5 degrees or closer to criminals in Mexico.

Frankly I think the odds favor Laundrie being dead, most likely by his own hand.

Yeah, it reminds me of the guys who killed some tourists in northern BC and fled across Alberta and Saskatchewan into northern Manitoba.

Lots of speculation of their ability to survive in the bush, when actually they’d just gotten off the road a bit and committed suicide.

Yeah. I mean he must have had feelings for Gabby. And it’s very likely that he killed her. Perhaps he’s a sociopath I suppose, but he had/has few options. Life in prison for killing your girlfriend, or just end it all.

In looking at the FBI 10 Most Wanted I immediately noticed that the only two guys on that list who were not either foreign nationals with organized crime ties, or Americans with foreign ties / foreign language knowledge, were two white guys who killed close family members (one killed his daughter in law, the other his entire family.) Both were outdoorsman, but not like master survivalists or anything. Both disappeared and left their cars near outdoor areas that experts have said “would be inhospitable for long term habitation.” Both after disappearing into the wilderness have not only never been seen again, but out of thousands of leads, not a single credible one has ever been chased down. Both have been missing for many years.

Given both had no great means to get out of the country or live outside of the country or etc, and the circumstances of their disappearance, it seems highly likely to me both chose to end their lives in the wilderness. Finding a body in the wilderness is no trivial thing. After a time, the body will have both decomposed and been scavenged, the bones likely get spread about, leaves cover them up, over time topsoil covers them up etc etc. One of them–Eugene Palmer, I even question why he occupies a spot on the list. He would be 82 now, and at the time he fled from the law he needed regular medication for both a heart condition and diabetes, at the time he disappeared he would have been around 72 years old. The idea a 72-year-old, now 82-year-old man, on diabetes and heart medication, has been surviving in the wilds of upstate New York for 10 years defies believability for me.

Not only does everyone know everyone, most of us are bored and nosey and gossipy as fuck. Every so often a squatter will break into a snowbird’s place to try to stay for the summer. The neighbor’s always catch them in days if not hours.

Whitey Bulger evaded capture for 16 years, but he had some serious cash available. Not a bad run, though.

They said (roughly) the same thing about Osama bin Laden. Didn’t mean he was dead to be “hiding” for so long. Just meant that any assumption he was hiding in a cave was misplaced. Turns out he had a villa in an upscale suburb.

I know, I know: Laundrie isn’t bin Laden. He doesn’t have the same wealth/connections. But if he’s got a few hundred dollars, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses, I could easily see him making his way to… just about anywhere in the continental US within 48 hours.

So I’ll cast my vote for “dead” or living in a developed part of the country. Albeit in one of the poorer neighborhoods (or at the very least camping in a proper campground in some other part of the country, where he has access to civilization). Personally, if I ever had to go on the run (for a crime I did not actually commit, to be sure) I’d make my way to a city in the southwest and just be homeless for a while–maybe every now and then spring for a cheap, non-chain motel that takes cash if I wanted to treat myself. Plenty of jobs a young man can do that won’t check ID, too. So he doesn’t even necessarily have to be homeless.