Search for Brian Laundrie continues at Carlton Reserve, areas with water remain a focus

Sarasota County

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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been more than two weeks since Brian Laundrie was last seen by his parents. He reportedly left his North Port home on Sept. 14 and headed for the Carlton Reserve to go for a hike. He hasn’t been seen since.

The 23-year-old remains the only person of interest in Gabby Petito’s homicide case.

Authorities are continuing their search efforts at the vast Carlton Reserve. The large-scale search we saw last week has been scaled down since the FBI took over the search. North Port police, who continue to assist in the search, says the search is now ‘targeted based on intelligence’.

A law enforcement vehicle blocked the roadway leading up to the east end of the reserve Wednesday, specifically the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park entrance. Local law enforcement officials tell 8 On Your Side the search today focused on areas with water.

Last week, the commander leading the search said about 75% of the 25,000-acre preserve was underwater. It appears some of that water is started to recede.

Flight tracking data from Wednesday afternoon showed a sheriff’s office helicopter circling a specific area on the Venice side of the reserve between the 2:45 p.m and 5:10 p.m. timeframe. That’s the same area we saw officials conducting ground searches throughout last week.

Despite the scaled-back efforts, law enforcement officials tell us the search hasn’t been called off at any point in time.

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