Florida Police searched a large Florida wildlife sanctuary for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. In Wyoming, investigators searched for clues in a mountainous national park.
Laundrie and Petito, 22, left the east coast in July for a hike across the country in a converted van. Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Fla. On September 1. Petito’s family filed a September 11 missing persons report in Suffolk County, New York.
In a case that gained national attention, the mystery also enveloped the fate of Laundrie, who had not spoken to law enforcement before her family reported her missing on Friday.
The next day, more than 50 police, FBI agents and members of other agencies searched the 24,000-acre Carlton Reservation in the Sarasota area. Drones, sniffer dogs and all-terrain vehicles were used.
“His family say they believe he entered the area earlier this week,” North Port police said.
A spokesperson said the laundry could survive on the reserve for some time.
“Certainly we’re preparing for all the different possibilities, but our goal is to locate it and bring it back to North Port,” said Josh Taylor.
Family members said they believed Laundrie traveled to the reservation with only a backpack, Taylor said. Another mystery is how he got to the reserve. Family members told investigators he took his car, but the vehicle was found at the family home.
Laundrie’s family told officers they had not seen him since Tuesday. Police said Friday night’s conversation was the first time they had discussed in detail with the laundries and had come at the request of the family.
In Denver, the FBI said agents were conducting ground investigations in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, with assistance from the National Park Service and local law enforcement. Petito’s last known contact with members of his family was from the park.
Earlier, North Port Police said they understood the frustration over the lack of progress in the search for Petito.
They also said it was “important to note that although Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a felony” and that the investigation was now a matter of “many. missing persons ”.
Lawyers for the Petito family said, “Gabby’s whole family wants the world to know Brian hasn’t gone missing, he’s in hiding. Gabby is missing.
Brian Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, did not comment.
The couple’s hike in their Fort Transit van began in July from Long Island. They intended to reach Oregon in November.
Video released by police in Moab, Utah, showed that an officer stopped the van on August 12 after it was seen accelerating and hitting a sidewalk. Body camera video showed an emotional Petito inside a police car as officers questioned Laundrie.