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Gabby Petito case: Search for Brian Laundrie continues in Florida reserve

NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — The search for Gabby Petito’s missing boyfriend Brian Laundrie continued Monday, entering its third week.

Laundrie’s parents say they last saw him Sept. 14 as he headed for a hike at the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Florida, though they did not report him missing until a few days later. Investigators have focused an intensive search on the area. NewsNation’s Brian Entin and NewsNation affiliate WFLA confirmed a small search was ongoing at the reserve Monday.

The search at the Florida reserve comes just days after a hiker told authorities he believes he saw Laundrie near the Appalachian Trial.

NewsNation’s Michael Shure spoke with a North Carolina deputy sheriff Sunday who said a man named Dennis Davis claims he gave directions to a man who looked just like Brian Laundrie.

Davis told authorities the man he saw in the Appalachian Mountains near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee on Saturday was asking for directions to California. 

NewsNation obtained a 911 call from a person claiming to have seen Laundrie in the area. You can listen below:

Credit: Haywood County

This comes as the Petito family continued to mourn the loss of Gabby Petito, setting up a foundation in her memory. Over the weekend, Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, sent her first tweet, saying, “Turn yourself in!”

WFLA confirmed the new Twitter account of Nichole Schmidt.

The FBI has issued an arrest warrant for Brian 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.

Petito vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie in a converted camper van. The trip was well documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere 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 at Grand Teton National Park.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WFLA contributed to this report.

Gabby Petito Case

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