Legal analysis: Why police haven't issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie in Gabby Petito case

4 weeks ago 9

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- The fiance of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old pistillate who went missing portion connected a cross-country roadworthy trip, was named a idiosyncratic of involvement by constabulary past week, but constabulary person not issued an apprehension warrant.

Officials person confirmed a assemblage recovered implicit the play adjacent Grand Teton National Park belongs to Petito, and the archetypal determination is that she died by homicide.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of 23-year-old fiance Brian Laundrie were unknown, and constabulary person not pressed charges. ABC News Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams said there's a crushed for that.

"They privation to find him. Period. They are present devoting each of their resources arsenic if determination was an apprehension warrant retired for him. But there's inactive not officially an apprehension warrant," Abrams said.

"Why not?" George Stephanopoulos asked connected "Good Morning America" Thursday.

"I deliberation that they privation to stitchery each of the grounds truthful that they don't get accused successful a proceedings aboriginal of making mistakes," Abrams said.

RELATED: Police assemblage cam video shows Gabby Petito, fiancé aft 911 call

A warrant besides perchance affects Laundrie's parents, who reported him missing successful a swampy sphere country adjacent their North Port, Florida, past week. On Monday, the FBI went to Laundrie's parents' location successful North Port and removed respective boxes and towed distant a car that neighbors said Laundrie's parent typically used.

"Suddenly, if he's a fugitive from justice, close present he's conscionable a person of interest. That conscionable means they privation to find him, right? The infinitesimal that apprehension warrant comes down, past anyone who harbors him, anyone who helps him evade justice, present they're committing a crime," Abrams said. "And that's the ineligible enactment that has to beryllium crossed. That the infinitesimal that warrant is issued, present you assist, you help, you're harboring a fugitive."

"If the parents sent the investigators disconnected into the incorrect direction, that's a problem?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Absolutely ... If that parkland was a mendacious flag, if really determination was not a car there, and that's not wherever they recovered it, and it was each made up, the parents perfectly could beryllium successful ineligible occupation for that," Abrams said.

ALSO READ: ABC Exclusive: Full interrogation with Brian Laundrie's sister connected Gabby Petito

Though the Teton County coroner implied that there's crushed to judge Petito was murdered, the origin of decease is pending last autopsy results.

"What does it mean that determination was nary ruling connected the origin of death?" Stephanopoulos asked Abrams.

"It conscionable means that they privation to instrumentality a fewer much minutes. 'Homicide' means decease astatine the hands of another. She was murdered. Period. Now the question is going to beryllium what precisely was the cause, again, they conscionable privation to dot the I's and transverse the T's connected this truthful if and erstwhile there's a proceedings they don't say, 'Well, you cognize you initially said that it was this and you somewhat changed it erstwhile you had much evidence.' I deliberation they conscionable privation to get everything successful order. I don't deliberation that peculiar contented is that peculiarly applicable close now, the astir important contented is uncovering Brian Laundrie," Abrams said.

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