Brian Laundrie’s father was supposed to help in search, but police postponed his participation

Gabby Petito Case

NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Brian Laundrie’s father was planning to join the search for his son Wednesday, but police delayed that plan indefinitely, according to the family’s attorney.

“Chris Laundrie [Brian’s father] was asked to assist law enforcement in their search for Brian at the preserve today,” the family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, told NewsNation. “Since the preserve has been closed to the public, Chris has not been able to look for Brian in the only place Chris and [Brian’s mother] Roberta believe Brian may be.

“Unfortunately North Port police had to postpone Chris’ involvement but Chris and Roberta are hopeful there will be another opportunity to assist.“

Otherwise, the day was light on developments in the Gabby Petito case. The Mustang that Brian Laundrie drove the day his parents say they last saw him was found the next day with an abandoned vehicle citation, according to a police report obtained by NewsNation.

The report’s narrative is blacked out because of the ongoing investigation. It was filed at 2:42 p.m. Sept. 14.

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 Brian Laundrie on Sept. 14.

The family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, said the parents found the car Sept. 14, then went back and retrieved it Sept. 15.

Brian 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.

Meanwhile, people scattered around the eastern half of the country claim to have seen Brian Laundrie, but it’s unclear if those tips have been proven.

NewsNation’s Brian Entin observed more police activity at the reserve than he’d seen recently as he got an aerial view Wednesday morning. There was also a sophisticated drone capable of thermal imaging, which could be used to detect body heat.

The manhunt for Brian Laundrie has remained a high-profile investigation since it began last month. The search started two days before his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, was found dead in Wyoming. The two were on a cross-country road trip over the summer, and Petito was last heard from Aug. 27.

Officials have still not revealed how she died, other than to say it was homicide. Brian Laundrie has not been charged in her death. He was indicted for bank fraud related to a debit card in Petito’s name investigators believe he used after she died.

Petito and Brian Laundrie were living at Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida, and Laundrie returned home alone Sept. 1. Petito was not reported missing until Sept. 11.

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