CNN takes a close look at the story of an Indiana father who was reported missing last week but is alive. What comes out in Brian Laundrie’s Facebook posts could help authorities develop a lead to find him.
(CNN) – The Facebook page for Brian Laundrie’s 11-year-old daughter, Kaylee, lists a photo of a red, vintage-style cellphone. It is about the size of an iPhone X and has a vintage phone icon. A post labeled “load of candy” reads “all the fixin’s available at sundries” and, on the back, “Brian prefers the b&b type of party.” It’s also safe to say the phone appears to be left in one of those unmarked lockers at the mall — never to be activated.
Laundrie’s family believes the missing father who studied audio technology at Indiana University and his phone could be the perfect lead in their quest to find him.
“Whether or not he found this phone himself, or has it in his possession now, that phone is what’s most important,” Kaylee’s mother, Sarah Boulware, said.
According to the page, Brian Laundrie’s family went to a Gas ‘N Go last Friday, June 8, after running out of gas. Shortly after, they became concerned after the gas station reportedly closed.
Boulware said on the phone she didn’t hear an alarm clock ring and got a call from Gas ‘N Go that Brian had not come in to work Saturday.
She started frantically searching for him until she found a closed door at the family’s home at 3817 E. Madison. Then, she took her and her daughter, who was at school, to gas stations and found little of interest.
“There was no driver’s license, no lunch money, not a ball cap, nothing,” Boulware said.
Search and rescue crews then responded to the scene to continue the hunt for the missing father. But instead of finding him, they found a badly burned person in the backseat of a crashed vehicle. The victim, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
But the search for Brian Laundrie continued.
Boulware said she drove through area hospitals and a coroner’s office — both equipped with gas stations and hangars — with no luck.
“The firefighters had been searching inside the hangar area, so that would seem like a convenient place,” Boulware said. “But I don’t believe they checked there.”
Boulware said a potential sighting of Brian Laundrie in the parking lot of National Blue Water Park in Columbia, Indiana, on Saturday may have been a benefit.
“A park employee recognized him, asked him his name and said he thought he would like to use the cellphone service, which he did not,” Indiana Conservation Officer Eric Mound said.
Mound added investigators are working on a profile of Brian Laundrie and speaking with his family to see if they have any information about the missing man’s whereabouts.
Hills, Indiana, is roughly 35 miles east of Bloomington. The location of the park near a dike where the victim was found, along with the red, vintage-style phone, all could provide clues into Laundrie’s whereabouts, authorities say.
While the phone may not mean much now, Boulware and her family are hopeful it might help bring Laundrie home and perhaps to them, too.
“Maybe it will help him get them back to him,” Boulware said. “It will let them know he is not in danger. It’s a sign of hope for them.”
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