- A private investigator told Insider that the chance of finding a missing person alive after 2 weeks in the wild is “minimal.”
- But PI John Van Stinkiste also said that a person with strong survival skills can survive.
- His comments came amid an ongoing search for Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old missing woman.
Time passes as law enforcement and family members search for Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared during a months-long cross-country trip with her fiancé.
Petito’s mother reported her daughter missing earlier this week after her daughter’s fiancé, Brian Landry, returned to their shared van in Florida on September 1 in their shared van without Petito.
But a private detective told Insider that there is little chance of finding someone alive two weeks after they disappeared.
John Van Stinkiste, lead investigator for Florida-based Compass Investigations, said the overall likelihood of finding a person alive after being missing for two weeks is “minimal.”
He named dangerous terrain, famine and extreme weather as possible threats.
“If this person was alive when he left but was trapped or somehow imprisoned, in a cave, in a room, in a building, he would have had no food for several weeks,” Van Stinkiste said.
“Assuming it’s hot, this person will be dehydrated,” he added.
Petito, the video blogger from the van, last spoke to her family at the end of August.
Returning home without Petito, Landry has hired a lawyer and refuses to cooperate with investigators. North Port, Florida, police called him an interesting person on Wednesday.
Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, and a family friend traveled to Jackson Hole Valley in Wyoming on Tuesday in search of the missing woman. Police say Petito’s last known location is believed to be in Grand Teton National Park.
“They try to stay as close to Grand Teton National Park as possible. I think this is the closest place they can find so they can spend as much time as possible looking for Gabby, ”Schmidt and Petito’s family lawyer Richard said Stafford told Insider Natalie Musumeci.
Guillermo Hechevarria, a criminal investigator with Investigation Services Unlimited in Florida, told Insider that he believes Landry most likely left Petito alive somewhere in the Tetons. But he added that by hiring a lawyer, Landry suggests that the police may also want to search for the body within one mile of Landry’s parents’ home.
Petito’s family blew up the Laundrie on Wednesday, urged him to cooperate with investigators and called his silence “reprehensible.” Petito’s parents accused Landry of leaving Petito “in the desert with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home.”
Van Stinkiste, however, raised hope by telling Insider that it’s unlikely that anyone will be found alive after a few weeks away from the national park if they have strong survival skills.
“If she’s there … and she has a good set of survival skills, this is a good opportunity,” Van Stinkiste said. “This is an opportunity.