Ground search in Florida's Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie halted; will resume Thursday

Laundrie is still considered a person of interest in the case — one day after authorities ruled Petito’s death a homicide.

News 12 Staff

Sep 22, 2021, 12:24 PM

Updated 997 days ago

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The ground search at the Carlton Reserve near North Port, Florida for Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie has been halted for the night and will resume Thursday.
Laundrie is still considered a person of interest in the case — one day after authorities ruled Petito’s death a homicide.
A large group of officers were seen on the reserve, including multiple K-9 units. A search dog, as well as police officers on a high-axle vehicle, plus a recovery dive team were all on hand.
Police say that does not indicate that they've found anything. They say it's part of the overall process.
As News 12 has reported, the terrain in the 25,000-acre nature preserve is unforgiving, especially during this time of year when heavy afternoon rain causes widespread flooding. There are also alligators and dangerous snakes in the park.
"These guys, our law enforcement partners, they're motivated and they're hungry to find Brian Laundrie," says North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell. "It's rough out there. It's hot, it's wet."
Investigators spent the weekend at the preserve looking for Laundrie. They briefly called the search off Monday and then resumed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Law enforcement expert Denis Monette says that could mean they're close to finding something.
"Sometimes the K-9 hits on something, then they go back the next day and they enter the area from a different angle," says Monette. "Maybe the side or the back. Sometimes the dog will hit on something additionally that he didn't hit on going the other way."
Laundrie has not been seen since last Tuesday, though his parents did not report him missing until last Friday.
Laundrie was on a cross-country road trip with Petito but came home by himself on Sept. 1.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, has offered state resources to help in the search for Laundrie.
Anyone who has any information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.


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