North Port PD Chief Recalls Brian Laundrie ID Mistake, Says 'I Still Stand Behind My Team'

North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison recalled the department's mistaken identification for Brian Laundrie and said "I still stand behind my team."

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Garrison spoke during a recent luncheon at the South County Tiger Bay Club about Laundrie's disappearance and the North Port Police Department accidentally mistaking Laundrie for his mother, Roberta.

"Do I not tell the public what's going on, do we conceal it, cover it up?" Garrison said during the event, according to the Herald-Tribune. "No, people want open, transparency and honesty from their law enforcement officials."

Garrison continued, "Yes, we made a mistake it was human error but I still stand behind my team."

On October 25, North Port Police Department Public Information Officer Josh Taylor admitted during an interview with WINK News that while surveilling the Laundrie household, they believed Brian returned home from Florida's Carlton Reserve but it was in fact his mother instead.

"I believe it was it was his mom who was wearing a baseball cap," Taylor said during the interview. "They're kind of built similarly."

Laundrie first went for a hike on September 13 but never returned home, which the North Port Police Department did not learn about until September 17. As police still believed he was at his home, Garrison held a press conference on September 16 saying that they knew where Laundrie was.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Garrison said during the event that after learning Laundrie was not at his home "There was nobody more surprised about that than me."

"In fact, when my officers went out to the house to do the report with the FBI, I sat with the deputy chief in my office, hoping that they would find Brian hiding in a back bedroom," he said according to the Herald-Tribune. "I was hoping, maybe it was a ploy. It wasn't."

Taylor made similar comments during his previous interview with WINK News saying, "When the family reported him on Friday. That was certainly news to us that they had not seen him."

On October 20, partial human remains were discovered in the Carlton Reserve and the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, along with some of Laundrie's belongings. One day later, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the remains were Laundrie's and that he was dead.

Laundrie was the sole person of interest in the disappearance and death of his fiancé, Gabby Petito, who died by manual strangulation while the two were on a cross-country road trip together.

The North Port Police Department declined to make any further comments.

Brian Laundrie
The North Port Police Chief recently recalled the department mistaking Brian Laundrie for his mother but said that he still supports his team. Above, a police officer stands outside the home of Brian Laundrie, who was a person of interest after his fiancé Gabby Petito went missing on September 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida. Octavio Jones/Getty