Manhunt intensifies for boyfriend in Gabby Petito missing persons case; FBI, local police searching Fla. nature reserve

Florida's North Port Police Department joins the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in preparations to search for Brian Laundrie, named a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Police learned Friday that Laundrie has not been seen by his family since Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: North Port Police Department/Twitter

NORTH PORT, Florida, Sept. 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Dozens of law enforcement officer have been sent into a Florida nature reserve in the search for Brian Laundrie, the person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, 22-year-old, Gabby Petito, who vanished during the couple’s summer travel adventure which they were posting on social media.

Now Laudrie himself is nowhere to be found, after his family revealed they have not seen their son since Tuesday.

“The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie,” says a North Port Police tweet issued at 8:36 a.m. Saturday.

“His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when available,” the NPPD said.

(The NPPD posted a 3:04 p.m. Saturday follow-up addressing a false rumor: “There are currently false reports of a body being located where we are searching. Completely fake.”)

The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, also known as the Carlton Reserve, is described as a 24,565-acre preserve in Sarasota County, Florida, home to alligators, poisonous snakes, and other wildlife, which inhabit the extensive swamp lands.

Upon learning Friday night that Laundrie, 23, was missing, an attorney for Petito’s family reportedly issued the following statement:

“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing.”

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie timeline

Gabrielle Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie. Photo: Instagram/Gabrielle Petito

● June and July, 2021 — The couple takes a cross country trip in her 2012 Ford Transit camper van, with Petito documenting the journey on social media. On July 10, Petito shared a photo of her at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is in southern Colorado. On July 16, she photos from Zion National Park. On July 26, Petito shared another picture of herself at Mystic Hot Springs in Utah.

The photo below, shot in Ogden and posted on Aug. 25 on Petito’s Instagram account, was the last image she shared there.

This photo, shot at the Monarch Gallery, in Ogden, and posted on Aug. 25, was the last image Gabby Petito posted on Instagram. Photo: Instagram/gabspetito

● Aug. 9 — Petito’s travel adventure video Van Life is uploaded on YouTube.

● Aug. 12 — The couple is reported to the Moab, Utah Police Department after a witness reports seeing an altercation, in which Petito admitted being the aggressor after Laundrie reportedly locked her out of their van. Police arranged for the couple to spend the night separately to calm down. Laundrie declined to press charges.

● Aug. 25 — Nicole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, says this is the last day she was in contact with her daughter. They spoke by phone, Schmidt said, adding Gabby told her she and Laundrie had stopped in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and were planning a trip to Yellowstone. Previous reports indicated there last communication was

● Sept. 1 — Brian Laundrie returned alone to his family home in North Port, Florida in the van owned by Petito

● Sept. 11 — Members of Petito’s family, based in Long Island, New York City, reported 22-year-old Gabby as a missing person. Laundrie’s family, speaking through an attorney, declines to talk with police.

● Sept. 16 — Body camera video of the police of the Moab Police interview with Petito and Laundrie was released.

● Sept. 17 — The Laundrie family attorney and police and FBI officials confirm Brian Laundrie left the family home three days earlier.

● Sept. 18 — FBI and North Port police being a search of the Carlton Reserve, a 24,565-acre nature preserve in Sarasota County, Florida, where Laundrie’s family tells officers he may have gone.

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