Brian Laundrie update: Manhunt at Carlton Reserve enters third week

Sarasota County

You can find the latest on the investigation involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie hereDownload the WFLA app for breaking news push alerts and sign up for breaking news email alerts.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Airboats and ATVs continue to comb the Carlton Reserve as the manhunt for Gabby Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie enters its third week.

Laundrie was last seen on Sept. 14, days before Petito’s remains were discovered in Wyoming. Laundrie’s parents told police he went for a hike at the nearly 25,000-acre reserve, about 15 miles from their home, and never returned. Laundrie was reported missing on Sept. 17.

The FBI and North Port police have spent the past two weeks scouring the vast swampland for signs of Laundrie. They scaled back their efforts last week, saying the search would be “targeted based on intelligence.”

On Monday, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said authorities were still searching for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.

“We [North Port police] have consistently been providing support in small groups,” Taylor said.

News Channel 8 reached out to the FBI, the lead agency in the case, for more information about the search. A spokeswoman said there was “no additional comment at this time.”

Laundrie remains the only person of interest in the death of Petito who disappeared while the couple was on a cross-country road trip.  An autopsy shows she died by homicide.

A federal arrest warrant was issued in Wyoming for Laundrie on a fraud-related charge.

Last week, News Channel 8 learned Laundrie and his family went on a Labor Day camping trip in Fort De Soto. The family’s attorney Steve Bertolino confirmed Brian’s sister, Cassie Laundrie, saw him twice after his return.

FBI agents visited the Laundrie family home in North Port Thursday and went into the camper parked in the driveway. Bertolino told 8 On Your Side they were there to  “collect some personal items belonging to Brian that will assist the canines in their search for Brian.”

“There is nothing more to this,” he added.

The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips about the case. Those with information are being asked to call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324). 

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