Local and federal agencies search a Rocky Mountain national park for Gabby Petito, while law enforcement is working to locate her fiancee, Brian Laundrie, whose family says she hasn’t been seen since Tuesday.
According to the North Port Police Department, the latest effort to locate Laundrie has slipped into a Florida nature reserve where dozens of officers and FBI agents have combed nearly 25,000 acres.
North Port police said in a tweet that the search resumed Sunday morning, adding that investigators were “looking for anything significant after his parents said this was where he went.”
North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said on Saturday that Laundrie’s family told police he had left the house on Tuesday with a backpack and was going to the reserve.
Laundrie, 23, is not wanted for a crime, according to law enforcement officers who began investigating Petito’s disappearance on September 11, when his family reported him missing. Before she disappeared, 22-year-old Petito had taken a cross-country trip with Laundrie in several western states and left online reviews of the campgrounds they had visited.
According to police, Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida, without Petito on September 1. Authorities later found the van the couple was traveling in at the home Petito shared with Laundrie and her family in North Port in Sarasota County, 80 miles south of Tampa.
Former FBI agent Brad Garrett is looking for Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie.
Police visited the home after Petito was reported missing, but Laundrie’s family refused to speak last week and instead briefed authorities for their lawyers.
On Friday evening, the house was searched after Laundrie’s family told the police they hadn’t seen her in days. Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino said on Friday that Laundrie’s whereabouts are “currently unknown”.
“Gabby’s entire family wants the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” the Petito family’s lawyer, Richard Stafford, told CNN in a brief statement. said.
On Saturday, the FBI said the Petito search included ground surveys conducted in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park with the National Park Service and local officials.
“This is an active and ongoing investigation, so we ask the public to stay away from any law enforcement personnel, equipment, vehicles and related activities for the safety of the public in these remote areas and to maintain the integrity of our work,” the FBI’s Denver field office said Saturday afternoon. He said in a tweet.
The FBI released a Missing Person poster asking for help in the search for Petito.
Chopper hovers over police looking for Brian Laundrie in Carlton Reserve
Laundry search continues in ‘vast’ nature reserve
Police said 50 law enforcement agencies from five local agencies and the FBI conducted a Laundry search in the “spanning” Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, before efforts were suspended due to darkness on Saturday evening.
“Nothing was found. Work will resume on Sunday morning,” North Port police said on Twitter.
Taylor said at a press conference at the search site on Saturday that the search effort included the use of drones and greyhounds, which use clothes taken from Laundrie’s home to scent her. Police initially focused their search on a nearby park of about 200 acres before spreading to the rest of the conservation area.
Taylor said police believed the vehicle Laundrie was driving may also be on reserve, but has since been returned to Laundrie’s home.
Taylor said there was “enormous pressure” on Laundrie to respond to what was going on.
When asked why Laundrie didn’t tell the police where her family was until Friday, Taylor said, “That’s a great question.”
Police body camera video shows boyfriend Gabby Petito after 911 call
“You know, we’ve been trying to reach the family since (last) Saturday to get a response to this case,” Taylor said. “We spoke with them in depth for the first time (Friday) when they called their lawyer and said the family was worried about Brian’s whereabouts.”
Petito and Laundrie’s disappearance continues to be characterized by law enforcement as “multiple missing persons investigations,” according to a statement from North Port police on Friday.