SARASOTA (CBSMiami) – The FBI has asked for the public’s help in finding Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who authorities said was killed while on a cross country trip with him.
On Wednesday, search teams once again fanned out across a portion of 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve park, which is near Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port.READ MORE: Miami Proud: Artist Edouard Duval-Carrié's Work Focuses On Haitian People And Its History
Investigators say Brian Laundrie’s parents told them he had gone there after returning home without Petito on Sept. 1.
It marked the fourth day of searching in the Carlton Reserve, with operations suspended Monday while the FBI searched the nearby Laundrie home for evidence. A Ford Mustang driven by Laundrie’s mother was towed from the driveway. Authorities believe Laundrie drove that car to the Carlton Reserve before disappearing.
The outdoors search includes thousands of acres of forbidding, swampy subtropical terrain replete with alligators, snakes, turkey, deer and many other wild creatures. There are more than 100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, plus numerous camping areas and rivers.
The body of Petito, 22, was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after they she did not respond to calls and texts for several days while the couple visited parks in the West. Her body was discovered Sunday at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as a homicide — meaning her death was caused by another person — but did not disclose how she was killed pending further autopsy results. Laundrie, 23, is not charged with any crime but is considered a person of interest in the case.
With online sleuths and theories multiplying by the day, the FBI and police have been deluged with tips about possible Laundrie sightings.READ MORE: Prayer Vigil Scheduled Thursday For Slain Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino
North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor said none have so far panned out. He also batted down rumors that Laundrie had been captured Tuesday.
“These reports are unfortunately false. Please rest assured that when Brian is found, we will be more than happy to let everyone know,” Taylor said in an email.
Taylor encouraged anyone who may have seen Laundrie to get in touch.
“We join the FBI in asking for continued public assistance by sharing any information through the tip lines 1-800-CALL FBI or tips.fbi.gov,” he said
Petito and Laundrie grew up together in Long Island, New York, but moved in recent years to his parents home, about 35 miles south of Sarasota
The couple documented online their trip in a white Ford Transit van converted into a camper. On August 12th, they got into a physical altercation in Moab, Utah, that led to a police stop for a possible domestic violence case. Ultimately, police there decided to separate the quarreling couple for the night but no charges were filed and no serious injuries were reported.MORE NEWS: Miami-Dade Public Schools Could Ease Mask Mandate By End Of Month, Reports Herald
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