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A former police K-9 handler said it's 'highly suspicious' that cadaver dogs missed Brian Laundrie's remains

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Officers with the North Port Police Department. The man pictured is not the K-9 handler mentioned in this article. Mark Taylor/Getty Images
  • A former police K-9 handler said cadaver dogs should have located Brian Laundrie's remains earlier.

  • Kyle Heyen told "Dan Abrams Live" that dogs detect the smell of remains even if they're underwater.

  • The remains found in a Florida wildlife reserve this week belonged to Laundrie, officials confirmed.

A K-9 handler and former police officer said on Thursday that he felt "very suspicious" that cadaver dogs didn't detect Brian Laundrie's remains in a Florida wildlife reserve earlier, NewsNation's "Dan Abrams Live" reported.

Kyle Heyen, who now runs a police-dog training company, told Abrams in a live interview, "If the body was there at that time X weeks ago, and if it's the same dog and the same quality of dog or the same quality of training, they should have found him."

"They would have detected Laundrie's body," Heyen added.

Police found the partial remains of Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, on Wednesday in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Thursday.

The discovery came after Laundrie's parents directed officials to an area where "some articles belonging to Brian were found," said a statement on Wednesday by the Laundrie family's attorney Steven Bertolino, NBC reported.

Bertolino also said Laundrie's father found a backpack "in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be." Police later also found a notebook.

FBI special agent Michael McPherson told a news conference on Wednesday that the items had been found submerged under a foot of water at the time of the search, The Independent reported.

But Heyen said cadaver dogs could still sniff out odors even if they're underwater.

"If the body had been there when they went by with cadaver dogs, and the body had been there for more than two or three minutes, the odor would have come through the water," Heyen told Abrams.

Watch the full interview below. It starts at around 14 minutes and 45 seconds into the video:

For weeks, law-enforcement officials have scoured Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which connects to the sprawling 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County. Laundrie's parents said this was where he told them he was going when he left their home on September 13.

The swampy area is home to alligators, bears, venomous snakes, and other dangerous wildlife.

Videos posted online by Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police, showed search teams using all tools at their disposal, including swamp buggies and drones.

A Fox 13 report from October 14 said the K-9 unit at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said it was also dispatching dogs to assist in the search for Laundrie.

Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old YouTuber Petito, who died of strangulation, a coroner's report said.

North Port Police did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on Heyen's assertions.

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