Dozens of officers from agencies including the FBI, North Port Police Department, Florida Wildlife Commission, several sheriff’s offices and K9 search and rescue teams have searched the reserve since Mr Laundrie’s parents first spoke to police on September 17.
“This is dangerous work for the search teams as they wade through gator- and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.”
CNN asked survival experts if it is possible Laundrie is alive if he has been in the reserve since mid-September. Here’s what they said.
It depends on his supplies and experience
In an ABC interview aired last week, Laundrie’s sister, Cassie Laundrie, said he had previously taken trips of up to five days on the Appalachian Trail. She said her brother is a “mediocre survivor”.
Robert Urban, founder and chief instructor of the Urban Survival Academy, said he believes it is highly unlikely that a person not professionally trained in survival tactics would be able to survive in the reserve for that long.
“Florida’s climate is very, very difficult,” Urban told CNN.
“I’m an expert with lots of experience and that would be all I could do to survive for (more) than three weeks. Someone without experience, one can not be lucky and survive in that kind of climate.”
The list of challenges that Laundrie could face is not short. There is wildlife that could harm him, including water moccasins, pigs, bears and alligators, survival experts told CNN.
“When you’re tired, you’re not as defensive, you’re not as alert as you should be,” Urban said.
Jason Marsteiner, founder and president of The Survival University, said that when he sends interns from his program in the desert – for about a week after completing a 50-day course – they struggle.
“Twenty-five days in this area is extremely tough. I would not do it and I have trained in the jungle, I have received mountain training,” he said.
“(Mr. Laundrie) does not sleep well, and when you do not sleep, you are slowly making yourself insane, so he would make bad decisions, bad choices, and I think it would make him be found or hurt. or perish. “
He needed shelter, water, food
It is unclear what Mr Laundrie took with him when he left. His parents told police he left the home with a backpack. Experts say a large part of whether he could still be alive if he was in the reserve depends on how prepared he was when he allegedly went in and how capable he is of coming up with the three basics. things: shelter, water and food.
“If he had ways to collect food and process that food, he could survive even longer.”
But Mr Laundrie would probably have to process and prepare the food he collects, Canterbury added, and if his water filtration system failed, he would have to find another way to disinfect the water. Both of these things would probably require him to start a fire.
But North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told CNN’s Randi Kaye authorities have not found physical evidence of Mr Laundrie in the reserve. Police also denied finding a newly used campsite – information provided to CNN from a source close to the Mr Laundrie family.
“Starting a fire will be a big no for (Mr. Laundrie) if he will not be found or seen, so I think it will be very difficult for him to stay out there for a very long period of time,” he said. Canterbury.
But he added that Mr Laundrie could have had enough in his backpack to survive until this point.
Alan McEwen, a cattle farmer and outdoor enthusiast who lives near the reserve, said the area feels like “shit” where parts of the reserve reach knee- and waist-deep water levels – making camping in that wilderness extremely difficult.
“The palmettes out there alone are enough to stumble you up when you walk through them, when you stumble through them,” McEwen told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday night.
“The mosquitoes will carry you away, someone out there more than a day without mosquito spray, you would go insane with the insects getting you and everything else.
“There’s just no possible way for anyone to survive out there like that. None.”
The way Byron Kerns, founder of Itchatad Outdoors Survival School, sees it, Mr Laundrie’s most immediate need would be water, and if he had a water filtration pump with him, it could hold him in liters.
But after three weeks, Mr Laundrie would need to get food, and if he is not trained and does not have the right tools, it can be difficult to know what to eat and how to get it.
“Bugs can also be a source of protein in the desert, but does he know that?” Said Kerns.
Experts believe he is either not alive or not in there
Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino told CNN in response to a question he is “hopeful” that Mr. Laundrie is still alive. Taylor, a spokesman for the North Port police, told CNN that it is “definitely possible” that Laundrie is alive.
“Nothing to suggest in any way,” Taylor said in an email.
The survival experts CNN spoke to seem to agree that Mr Laundrie is either no longer alive or is not in the reserve.
“(The authorities) probably have some of their best people in the nation out there looking for him, and they have not found any signs of him,” Marsteiner said.
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“The 25,000 acres, it sounds big, but when you’ve got so many people scouring the area, it really isn’t.”
It is very unlikely he could camp out and continue to avoid the search teams that have been looking for him, Urban added.
“Some uneducated guy who’s just used to walking the trails will not evade a team of experts just by hiding,” Urban said, adding that he also believes Laundrie is not in either the reserve or is not alive in there.
If Mr Laundrie is in the reserve but is no longer alive, it will be harder to find him as several days go by, Urban added with the movement of water and sand as well as the animals passing by. But there have also been no signs that Mr Laundrie is dead.
“When you have something dead out there, you want buzzards flying everywhere,” McEwen said.
“You can not see any buzzard flying anywhere, and no buzzard has flown in any direction of this place.”