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Search for Gabby Petito: Cops looking for Laundrie in Florida nature reserve

Brian Laundrie
Posted at 1:24 PM, Sep 18, 2021

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Police in Florida searched a vast wildlife reserve near the Gulf Coast for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Dozens of North Port police officers, FBI agents and members of other law enforcement agencies on Saturday searched the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Florida area.

His family believes he entered the area earlier this week.

Laundrie and Petito left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West.

Police encountered both Laundrie and Petito in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 after bystanders witnessed the couple fighting at a convenience store. Police did not file charges after the two agreed to spend the night in separate places.

Petito's mother says the last time she spoke with her daughter was on Aug. 25, when she reported that she was in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

Police say Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home on Sept. 1.

Police are still pursuing the case as a missing person case. No charges have been filed.