Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomeusBrian Laundrie search: Experts dissect garden bunker theory

Brian Laundrie search: Experts dissect garden bunker theory

Brian Laundrie is probably not hiding out in a bunker in his parents’ backyard, a pair of experts in the industry tell Fox News — but there’s a small chance there’s one somewhere else on the property.

Ron Hubbard, CEO of Texas-based Atlas Survival Shelters, said it’s common to build a bunker with a secret entrance for safety concerns, and despite the Laundries’ soggy Florida soil, contractors could easily construct a subterranean chamber that would stay put and keep the water out.

“It’s not a problem,” agreed Gary Lynch, who runs the Rising S Company that is also based in Texas. “You just have to make them heavy enough that they don’t float out.”


Drone video taken above the Laundrie property showing Roberta Laundrie tending to her backyard garden sent Internet investigators down a literal rabbit hole, with some claiming they saw a hand poke out of the soil to take something from the gardening mother.

But the chance that Brian Laundrie, the fugitive subject of a federal bank fraud warrant and person of interest in fiance Gabby Petito’s unsolved homicide, is hiding out beneath the garden is “about zero,” Hubbard told Fox News.

Workers use a crane to install an underground Rising S Company bunker in this undated photo.

Workers use a crane to install an underground Rising S Company bunker in this undated photo.
(Rising S Bunkers)

“They would have figured that out by now,” he said, noting authorities have already executed a search warrant on the property.

Lynch said it’s routine to conceal entrances to underground bunkers – even under false garden beds – but that didn’t appear to be the case in the video.

“The possibility of having a bunker there, his parents having a bunker, is absolutely 100% plausible,” he said. “However, that being said, it didn’t look anything like if a hand came out of the bunker to me.”

(Joseph Petito/Twitter)

The area appeared to be too close to a fence at the rear of the property and very few people have shelters to begin with.

“You probably have 1%, or less than 1%, of the United States has bunkers,” he said. “But that being said, if they have a bunker, it could be highly likely. My own opinion is he’s gotten as far away from Florida as he could possibly go.”

Many people who install bunkers in their backyard do hide them, he said. And they’ll often try and build them without permits.

Some even wait for neighbors to go out in order to have them put in without any witnesses.

Brian Laundrie (Instagram)

Brian Laundrie (Instagram)

“I’ve put them in places that you would think, ‘There’s no way you could put a bunker here without anybody knowing it,’” he said. “You’d be surprised how creative that we can get.”

Cost is also a factor.

Rising S’s smallest model, the 8-by-12-foot Mini Bunker, runs about $40,000 and can go in within a single work day, Lynch said. That would have running water, electricity and a functioning kitchen.

Atlas shelters begin at around $400 a square foot, depending on the cost of steel, and become much costlier for high-end projects.

The garden-bed bunker theory is just one of many being floated by online sleuths and crime junkies.

Michael Ruiz is a U.S. and World Reporter for Fox News.


Most Popular