A massive search is continuing in southern Florida for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who went missing on a cross-country trip and who authorities say is “consistent with the description” of a body discovered on Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
Laundrie has been named by police as a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance. Laundrie has refused to speak to the police and has not been seen since Tuesday, Sept. 14, according to law enforcement officials.
The search for Laundrie is the latest twist in the case that has grabbed national attention as he and Petito had been traveling across the country since June, documenting the trip on social media.
Petito’s parents, who live in Long Island, New York, reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her for two weeks.
FBI ends search at Laundrie residence
The FBI Tampa office tweeted that they ended their search of the Laundrie residence North Port, Florida.
“No further details since this is an ongoing investigation,” the office
Search warrant last week uncovered hard drive, revealed Petito’s last text
Details of a search warrant executed last week by Florida investigators looking into into Gabby Petito’s disappearance were revealed.
This warrant, filed by the North Port Police Department this, wasn’t associated with the FBI activity at the Laundrie family’s North Port home.
Police say that after they searched the 2012 Ford Transit van, crime scene technicians found an external hard drive that they believed “may contain viable digital forensic data that could assist in the location” of Petito, court documents said.
A detective said Petito’s mother received an “odd text” from the 22-year-old, on Aug. 27, — making it likely the last communication from Petito, according to court documents.
The text asked Petito’s mom, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” referring to Petito’s grandfather, who she “never” refers to as Stan, according to her mother.
911 caller claimed he saw Brian Laundrie ‘slapping’ Gabby Petito
The Grand County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office released on Monday a 911 recording from August in which a caller claimed he witnessed Brian Laundrie allegedly “slapping” Gabby Petito and chasing her up and down a sidewalk hitting her.
In the recording of the 911 call from Aug. 12, the caller, whose name was not released, claimed he saw an apparent domestic dispute unfold on Main Street in Moab between a young couple driving a white van with Florida license plates.
“We drove by, and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller told a 911 dispatcher. “And then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and drove off.”Moab Police Department Chief Bret Edge said last week that his officers responded to the incident, located the van and pulled the couple over.
Moab police released body camera footage of the traffic stop and wrote in a report that the couple, identified as Laundrie and Petito, admitted to arguing and that Petito had slapped Laundrie.
The couple also stated to police that Laundrie did not hit Petito, according to the report.
After speaking to Petito and Laundrie separately, the police allowed the couple to go on their way. Edge said “insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”Car Brian Laundrie last used was parked in parents’ driveway: AuthoritiesA Ford Mustang convertible authorities believe Brian Laundrie used to purportedly drive himself to the Carlton Reserve near North Port, Florida, was parked in the driveway of his family’s home when FBI agents served a search warrant there.
Laundrie’s parents told authorities he went to the nearly 25,000-acre preserve on Tuesday, which is the last time they claim they saw him, according to the family’s attorney.Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, said that the family picked up the car on Thursday morning from the reserve after going out on Wednesday to look for Laundrie.
Laundrie left his family’s home on Tuesday morning with a backpack, Bertolino said. He said that when family members went to the reserve to look for him, they spotted a note left on the car from the North Port Police Department saying it needed to be removed.
Bertolino said the family left the car overnight “so he [Laundrie] could drive back.” When Laundrie didn’t come home Thursday morning, the family went back to retrieve the car, the attorney said.
The family called the police on Friday to file a missing person report, authorities said.
FBI descends on Florida home of Brian Laundrie’s parentsPolice and FBI agents descended on the home of Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida, to serve a search warrant Monday morning, authorities said.Officers escorted the parents from the home to an FBI vehicle, an ABC News photographer at the scene observed. They were later allowed back into their home.
The FBI field office in Tampa tweeted that agents were at the home to serve a search warrant.Search of vast Florida swamp preserve ‘exhausted’: PoliceThe North Port, Florida, Police Department said on Monday that a search for Laundrie in the vast Carlton Reserve near North Port has been “exhausted.”
Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police Department, said that the two-day search of the nearly 25,000-acre swampland preserve turned up no sign of Laundrie.
Taylor said search dogs did not pick up the scent of Laundrie while searching the preserve, which authorities described as alligator infested.
“At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there,” Taylor said in a statement. “Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie.”