After America's Most Wanted creator John Walsh's special on the death of Gabby Petito aired Wednesday, the attorney for Brian Laundrie criticized Walsh and reality television star Duane "Dog" Chapman as "dusty relics" seeking publicity by joining the search for his client. In his ID network special Gabby Petito: ID Special Report, Walsh speculated that Laundrie, 23, may have run to Mexico, the Bahamas, or the Appalachian Trail. Laundrie has been missing since Sept. 17 and is a person of interest in the 22-year-old Petito's death.
In ID Special Report, Walsh also accused Laundrie's parents of helping their son stay on the run. "I absolutely believe that his family is helping him stay on the run," the In Pursuit with John Walsh star said. Walsh also focused on the Petitio case on In Pursuit last month. Bertolino was not happy with Walsh's speculation.
"Dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity-hungry egos some food," Bertolino told Fox News Thursday. Walsh has not responded to the statement, but the Dog the Bounty Hunter star did. "It's ironic that Mr. Bertolino would criticize the people trying to find Brian Laundrie unless perhaps he doesn't want him to be found," Chapman said.
Chapman spent about two weeks in Florida searching for Laundrie before it was reported that he needed to go back to Colorado to handle some business and be treated for an ankle injury. However, he was seen back in Florida on Wednesday, knocking on the door of the house belonging to Laundrie's sister Cassie. No one answered the door, so Chapman only spoke to the cameras that followed him, telling them he believes Cassie knows something about Laundrie's whereabouts.
In a new interview with The Sun on Thursday, Chapman said he wanted to find Laundrie as soon as possible so he could continue his honeymoon with his new wife, Francie Frane. They were on their Florida honeymoon when Laundrie went missing. "So... one of the last reasons that I want to catch him- so I could continue my honeymoon," Chapman told The Sun. "I hope that's not any disrespect to anybody involved in this case because it's terrible, but that's where we stand now, in our honeymooning."
Chapman has been accused of using his search for publicity, especially after reports surfaced that he pitched a show about his search to networks. A&E, which aired Dog the Bounty Hunter, reportedly "immediately passed" on the idea. CMT, which aired Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, has also reportedly rejected the idea before even receiving a pitch from Chapman.
Petito went missing in late August, and her parents reported her missing on Sept. 11. Laundry returned to Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito. Her remains were discovered at a national park in Wyoming. Earlier this week, the Teton County Coroner's Office confirmed that strangulation was the cause of Petito's death. Her death was also classified as a homicide. There is a federal warrant out for Laundrie's arrest on debit card fraud.