Cadaver dogs could sniff out other body parts in the Florida park where the suspected remains of Brian Laundrie were discovered, a search and rescue expert told the Post.
Michael Hadsell, president of Peace River K9 Search and Rescue, said the dogs could not smell any rotting remains at first because parts of the reserve were still several meters under water.
“The problem is, people don’t understand that dogs aren’t corpse finders, they’re scent hunters,” said Hadsell, who was not involved in the search for Laundrie but was involved in the search at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
“They chase after the smell of human remains, and the problem is that sometimes the smell doesn’t give the best presentation,” he continued.
“In this case, the search conditions they were in initially were really bad, so the probability was closer to the 20 percent success rate because there was water in that area.”
But now that the area is dry and a breeze is blowing, Hadsell says this makes for “cones of common sense” that “dogs can spot”.
The FBI announced on Wednesday that human remains had been found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, although authorities have yet to confirm that the remains were Laundrie’s.
Objects belonging to Gabby Petito’s friend were also found, including a backpack and a notebook, the FBI said.
“These items were found in an area that was until recently underwater,” said Michael McPherson, agent in charge of the FBI field office in Tampa, at a press conference at the crime scene.
“Our evidence team is on site using all available forensic resources to investigate the area. It is likely that the team will be there for several days, ”he added.
Hadsell, who has over 20 years of experience assisting K9 search and rescue missions, said that while the water has receded, there are other factors that could pose challenges.
“This is Florida, so there are a lot of critters out there wanting to come out and eat you,” he said.
“Many of these remains found in these wilderness areas are what we call ‘scattered remains’ because the living beings grabbed and dragged parts of the corpse. And that’s why we spend a lot of time searching – the other parts. “
“If you don’t find all of the remains, they’ll likely wait for it to dry completely and look for it again.”
Hadsell said he worked on cases where a corpse dog discovered a smell, but the remains were found about a mile away.
“When animals come over there looking for something to eat, they see the body and it’s a light meal,” he said. “Often these critters just grab a piece and walk away with it.”
He noted that shortly after the remains were found, authorities set up tables and tents on the reservation to begin identifying the parts.
“They created a map of the human skeleton that acts like a map,” he said. “Every time a bone comes in, you will identify it with this diagram and slowly you will be able to put the pieces together.”