Search for Brian Laundrie: Crews plan to return to Carlton Reserve Wednesday

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.

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — Gabby Petito’s body was positively identified Tuesday by the Teton County coroner. Her death was confirmed to be a homicide.

Her fiancé Brian Laundrie is still a person of interest in his fiancé Gabby Petito’s disappearance, was reported missing to police on Friday, Sept. 17.

According to police, his parents reported last seeing him last Tuesday, Sept. 14, in hiking gear. He has not been named as a suspect in the ongoing investigation. and law enforcement are looking for him.

North Port Police, FBI and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spent the day searching for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve on the Venice side. Police say the area is 75% underwater, which makes it a difficult terrain.

The search area is 20 minutes away from Laundrie’s home. Crews used ATVs, UTV’s, drones and K- 9.

Laundrie’s parents told police they believe their son came out to the Carlton Reserve last week.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted Tuesday directs Florida agencies to continue helping in the search to locate Laundrie.

“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.”

Donald Lower is staying with friends near the reserve. He watched as law enforcement flooded the area Tuesday morning. Lower says as a father himself, he can’t imagine what the families are going through.

“It’s just, your mind doesn’t want to go there,” Lower said. “It’s sad to see it.”

The ramped-up search for Laundrie comes a day after FBI agents removed evidence from his parents’ home. The focus now is all of 25,00 acres.

Crews wrapped up their search Tuesday before 7:00 p.m. They will return Wednesday morning.

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