Gabby Petito case: Brian Laundrie’s father joins reserve search for missing son

Gabby Petito Case

NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Brian Laundrie’s father helped in the search for his missing son at a 24,000-acre Florida reserve Thursday, the family’s attorney confirmed to NewsNation.

Christopher Laundrie was seen leaving the family’s North Port home Thursday morning around 10 a.m. local time with a plastic bag.

“Today Chris Laundrie accompanied members of law enforcement into the Reserve to show them the trails and places Chris and Brian have hiked and which Brian was known to frequent,” family lawyer Steven Bertolino told NewsNation. “There were no discoveries but the effort was helpful to all. It seems the water in the preserve is receding and certain areas are more accessible to search.   The entire Laundrie family is grateful for the hard work of the dedicated members of law enforcement that have been searching the preserve for Brian over the last few weeks. Hopefully Brian will be located soon.“

Christopher Laundrie takes a plastic bag outside his home on Oct. 7, 2021. (NewsNation)

Christopher Laundrie left the reserve just before 2 p.m. local time on Thursday and returned home, according to NewsNation reporter Brian Entin.

Bertolino told NewsNation Wednesday that Laundrie was planning to join the search, but police delayed that plan.

When asked if anything was discovered at the reserve on Wednesday, Bertolino told NewsNation, “We were just asked to be on standby as they were focusing in on certain areas.”

Brian Laundrie’s parents say they last saw him Sept. 13, when they said he took the car to the Carlton Reserve to go hiking. But, that date is a change from their original story. Up until Tuesday, they had been saying they last saw Laundrie on Sept. 14.

Laundrie was reported missing Sept. 17. Since then, police have combed through the 24,000-acre reserve looking for clues, but have not announced any noteworthy findings.

The manhunt for Brian Laundrie has remained a high-profile investigation since it began last month. The FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie. He is wanted for “use of unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death. The FBI says he used a debit card and a PIN to access two bank accounts Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

Gabby Petito vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie in a converted camper van. The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube Vlog called “VAN LIFE”. The last posts to both their Instagram accounts were from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Petito, 22, was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. Her body was discovered days later.

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