Brian Laundrie’s search resumes in Florida reservation a day after authorities called off


A week after Brian Laundrie, the man named a person of interest in the disappearance of his apparently missing fiancée Gabby Petito, Florida police said on Tuesday they would look for him again at the 25,000 wildlife sanctuary. acres where he would have hiked. before it disappears.

The North Port Police Department said it had returned to the Carlton Reservation to search for Laundrie, 23, although it said on Monday that investigators had “exhausted all avenues” in the county park near Sarasota.

The Department reported “nothing significant” after Tuesday’s research, but said a similar research would take place on Wednesday. Authorities had said they planned to focus on a specific part of the reserve and adjacent lands. It is not known what prompted the officials to return to the region.

“Please note that the Carlton Preserve can be a vast and ruthless place at times. It is currently waist deep in water in many areas. It is dangerous work for search teams as they wade through infested swamps. of gators and snakes and flooded hikes and bike trails, ”North Port police said in a statement earlier Tuesday.

Laundrie’s parents told authorities he visited the reserve last Tuesday, which was the last day they saw him, according to Steven Bertolino, a family lawyer.

The FBI raided the Florida house where Laundrie and Petito lived with his parents on Monday.

The agency said it was “today executing a court-authorized search warrant at Laundrie’s residence in North Port, Fla., Regarding Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito’s investigation,” and later tweeted that it was concluded. No further details were disclosed.

During the search on Monday, Bertolino said he would hold a press conference on Tuesday on behalf of the Laundrie family, but later canceled it. “According to my conversation with the FBI tonight, there will be no press conference tomorrow,” he said.

Laundrie last week was named a person of interest in connection with his fiancée’s disappearance, but police said Friday he was not wanted for a felony.

The remains found Sunday in Wyoming were confirmed Tuesday to be those of Petito and the coroner’s initial determination for the mode of death is homicide, the FBI said in Denver. The cause of death is pending the results of the autopsy.

The remains were found at a campground in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the FBI said.

Petito and Laundrie began a tour through national park country in July, documenting their trip on YouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #VanLife. Laundrie returned home in North Port, south of Tampa, in the couple’s van on September 1 – 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing, police said.

Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said she last heard from her daughter in late August. Petito’s last text read: “No service in Yosemite.” It is not known if Petito sent this SMS.

A search warrant affidavit filed in Florida last week indicated that Schmidt received another “strange text” on August 27 from Petito’s cell phone.

The text read, “Can you help Stan, I keep getting his voicemail messages and missed calls,” according to the affidavit, which stated that Stan is Petito’s grandfather’s name. Schmidt, however, told police she never called him Stan.

“The mother was worried that something was wrong with her daughter,” according to the affidavit. “This was the last communication anyone had with the subject. Her cell phone was no longer operational and she stopped posting anything on social media about their trip. According to her family, this was not normal behavior for the subject, and they became more worried about her. “

The affidavit also revealed that investigators discovered a hard drive inside the couple’s van on the day of Laundrie’s disappearance. The affidavit referred to concerns about Petito’s mental health.

“Based on all of the circumstances related to the subject’s mental health, I think there is probable reason to believe that the subject is unable to take care of herself due to her heightened anxiety. As a result of this behavior, our concerns for her well-being have reached a level of urgency, ”the affidavit noted.“ Her cell phone has been off for about 15 days and has not been seen since the 27th. August 2021. “

The Grand County Utah Sheriff’s Office released on Monday the 911 audio of a witness who said he saw a man slap a woman, then a white Ford Transit van with a Florida license plate on it. remove.

The 911 call led to Moab police stopping the van on August 12.

The witness told the dispatcher that he would like to report a “domestic conflict”.

“We walked past and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” said the witness. “… And then we stopped. They ran down the sidewalk, he started hitting her, jumped in the car, then drove off. “

Moab Police said they responded to a “domestic problem” between Petito and Laundrie that afternoon.

The alleged dispute arose as Petito and Laundrie made their way to Arches National Park, according to a police report.

The report indicated that officers on the scene viewed Petito as the aggressor.


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