Police: Manhunt for Brian Laundrie resumes at Florida nature preserve; autopsy set for today on body believed that of girlfriend Gabby Petito

Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito are shown during a stop by Moab Police following a domestic violence report by a witness. Images: Moab Police

NORTH PORT, Florida, Sept. 21, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The manhunt continues in Florida for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance search for girlfriend Gabby Petito, as an autopsy set for today in Wyoming could confirm whether a body found near their last campsite is that of the 22-year-old woman.

North Port Police, agents of the FBI, and others are back searching for 23-year-old Laundrie at the 24,565-acre Carlton Preserve, a nature preserve with hiking paths and areas of swamp. Officials searched there, on foot and with drones, on Saturday and Sunday before returning Tuesday.

Officials served a search warrant on Monday, reportedly collecting computers and other electronic devices, among other items of possible evidence. They also towed Brian Laundrie’s gray Ford Mustang from the driveway.

“Search for Brian Laundrie will resume Tuesday in the Carlton Reserve, Venice side,” a department tweet says. “We join the FBI in asking for continued public assistance by sharing any information through the tip lines 1-800-CALL-FBI.” A subsequent tweeted added: “By land. By air,” with photos of the search.

Later Tuesday morning, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted a request for continued assistance in the case:

At the request of @NorthPortPolice, @MyFWC law enforcement has been assisting in the search for Brian Laundrie. I have directed all state agencies under my purview to continue to assist federal & local law enforcement as they continue to search — we need justice for Gabby Petito.”

A news conference scheduled for Tuesday by an attorney for Laundrie’s family was canceled last night.

Petito, who was on an extended western van trip with Laundrie, whom she called her fiancé, was seen in mid-to-late August in Ogden, then in Moab, where police responded to a witness who reported seeing a man strike a woman.

Hear the released portion of the 911 call by clicking below:

Police caught up with the couple in the van, and interviewed them regarding the alleged abuse.

Bodycam footage released by the Moab City Police Department revealed Laundrie saying Petito struck him, but he did not wish to file charges. In her interview, Petito also admitted striking Laundrie, but did not report he hit her, and she appeared to blame the angry exchange on her own alleged mental health issues.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned alone to the North Port, Florida residence Petito had shared with the family. Petitos’ parents reported her missing on Sept. 11. Laundrie’s family said through an attorney they would not be speaking to investigators regarding the missing woman.

On Sept. 17, Friday of week, Laundrie’s parents revealed he had gone missing three days earlier, and they believed he was at Carlton Reserve.

On Saturday, a body consistent with Petito’s was discovered in Grand Teton National Park in an area officials were searching for her case.

On Sunday, the FBI released the video of the news conference, which can be viewed below.

Sunday’s press conference with FBI Denver SSRA Charles Jones, Grand Teton National Park Chief Ranger Matt Wilber, Chief of National Park Service Investigative Services Hunter Bailey, Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr, and Jackson Police Chief Michelle Weber is attached. pic.twitter.com/Swg3DDxIE1


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here