BRIAN Laundrie could have survived this long hiding out at a nature reserve but his time is running out, an expert has claimed.
The 23-year-old disappeared almost a month ago and the FBI is continuing to hunt for him following the discovery of his fiancée Gabby Petito's body.
Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17 after allegedly telling them that he was going for a hike in the alligator and snake-infested Carlton Nature Reserve in Sarasota, Florida.
Survival expert Dave Canterbury believes if Laundrie had packed enough supplies in a backpack, he could still be alive if he's been evading capture at the reserve.
"I think a lot of that depends really on how prepared he was when he entered the area to begin with," he told CNN.
"If he had supplies in a backpack, which it's rumored that he had, if he had ways to disinfect water through filtration and cover to protect himself from the weather and things like that, he could survive for a certain period of time.
"But if he had ways to gather food and process that food he could survive even longer.
"The question really becomes if you can gather food, how are you going to process and cook that food without starting a fire, and if your filtration fails, how are you going to disinfect the water without starting a fire.
"Starting a fire is going to be a big no no for him if he doesn't want to get found or seen, so I think it's going to be very difficult for him to stay out there for a very long period of time.
"But I think up to this point he could have enough stuff in a backpack to have gotten along this far and still be there."
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Gabby and Laundrie started their cross-country road trip across America’s midwest in July where they visited national parks and canyon ranges in Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
Laundrie returned to Florida alone on September 1 – days after Gabby had last spoken to her family.
Gabby’s family reported the vlogger missing on September 11 – just a week before her remains were found in Wyoming.
Many are convinced Laundrie has been camping out in the nature reserve as he hides away from authorities.
But an ex-FBI agent exclusively told The Sun the agency is "spread too thin" for the extensive manhunt for fugitive Laundrie and he may only be caught when he slips up.
Cops have confirmed the FBI is leading the search for the traveler, who remains the only person of interest after Gabby was found dead.
But former agent Stuart Kaplan, now a lawyer in South Florida, says the FBI is already under a lot of pressure, after cops confirmed the search has been scaled and is now based on intelligence.
Kaplan told us: "The FBI is not tasked or mandated to investigate homicides. Homicides obviously are part of criminal enterprises, whether it's organized crime or, God forbid there's a bank robbery and someone gets shot and killed, but routinely a single homicide is not within the jurisdiction of the FBI.
"But now realizing the scope and breadth of this investigation, the FBI came in. They are certainly equipped to track down and conduct leads and go out and serve subpoenas and interviews etc.
"[But] once the FBI is thrust into the limelight, and this is one of my criticisms of the FBI, the agency is spread too thin with not enough resources to really be able to be as effective as they could be in kind of sticking to their mission statement.
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