A former police K-9 handler said it is ‘highly suspicious’ that cadaver dogs missed Brian Laundrie’s remains

North port police
Officers with the North Port Police Department. The man pictured is not the K-9 handler mentioned in this article. Mark Taylor/Getty Images
  • A former police K-9 handler said cadaver dogs should have located Brian Laundrie’s remains earlier.
  • Kyle Heyen told Dan Abrams Live that dogs detect the smell of remains even if they’re underwater.
  • The remains found in a Florida wildlife reserve this week belonged to Laundrie, officials confirmed.

A K-9 handler and former police officer said Thursday he felt “very suspicious” that cadaver dogs did not detect Brian Laundrie’s remains in Florida’s wildlife reserve earlier, according to NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live.”

Kyle Heyen, who now runs a police dog training company, told Abrams in a live interview: “If the body was there at that time, x weeks ago, and if it’s the same dog and the same quality of dog or the same quality of training, they should have found him.”

“They would have detected Laundrie’s body,” Heyen added.

The partial remains of Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, were found by police on Wednesday in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed Thursday.

The discovery came after Laundrie’s parents directed officials to an area where “some articles belonging to Brian were found,” according to a statement Wednesday by Laundrie’s family’s attorney Steven Bertolino, NBC reported.

Bertolino also said the Laundrie’s father found a backpack “in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be.” Police later also found a notebook.

FBI special agent Michael McPherson told a news conference Wednesday that the items had been found submerged under a foot of water at the time of the search, The Independent reported.

But Heyen said that cadaver dogs could still sniff out odors even if they’re underwater.

“If the body had been there, when they went by with cadaver dogs, and the body had been there for more than two or three minutes, the odor would have come through the water,” Heyen told Abrams.

Watch the full interview below. It starts at around 14 minutes and 45 seconds into the video:

For weeks, law enforcement officials have been scouring Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which connects to the sprawling 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County. Laundrie’s parents say that this is where he told them he was going when he left their home on September 13.

The swampy area is home to alligators, bears, venomous snakes, and other dangerous wildlife.

Videos posted online by North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor show search teams using all tools at their disposal, including swamp buggies and drones.

According to a Fox 13 report from October 14, the K-9 unit at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said it was also dispatching dogs to assist in the search for Laundrie.

Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old YouTuber Petito, who died of strangulation, according to a coroner’s report.

Insider contacted North Port Police for comment on Heyen’s assertions early Friday morning, but is yet to receive a response.