Gabby Petito Case: New Details About Tip That Led Dog the Bounty Hunter to Florida Campsite

by Jennifer Shea

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman thinks he has a lead on slain hiker Gabby Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts.

Acting on a tip, Chapman headed to Fort De Soto Park to search for Laundrie, Fox News reports. He says he heard Laundrie went to the Florida campground, which is 75 miles from his parents’ home, with his parents twice in early September, once from Sept. 1-3 and then from Sept. 6-8.

Chapman declared that he was joining the search for Laundrie on Saturday. By Monday, he had what he considered reliable information about Fort De Soto Park.

Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend Was at the Park in Early September

“They were registered, went through the gate,” Chapman told Fox News. “They’re on camera. They were here. We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp.”

“What we’re hearing is, two people left on the 8th,” he added. “Three people came in on the 6th, and two people left on the 8th. I think he’s been here for sure.”

By “the swamp,” Chapman means the Carlton Reserve. The 25,000-acre nature preserve is full of swamps and densely wooded areas, and it’s where Laundrie’s parents said he went hiking the week before last, shortly before Gabby Petito’s body was found. The search for Laundrie there has so far turned up nothing.

Meanwhile, a local survival expert told USA Today that Carlton is “living hell,” and that authorities should have found evidence of Laundrie’s presence there by now. If they haven’t come across footprints or his remains – besides predators, the nature preserve offers little edible food and no safe drinking water – then he was probably never there in the first place, Mark Burrow said.

Park Is Safer than Carlton Reserve

Fort De Soto Park is relatively easy terrain compared to the Carlton Reserve. It covers roughly 1,130 acres and includes five keys. It is in Pinellas County.

According to Fox, investigators did check surveillance video on the grounds.

Moreover, whether or not Laundrie had a hand in Gabby Petito’s death, his disappearance is raising suspicions.

As for Laundrie’s parents, who waited at least three days to report him missing, they said through their attorney, Steven Bertolino, that they do not know where Brian is.

“They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” Bertolino told Fox News. “The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.”

In the meantime, more tips are coming in for Chapman to follow up on. And authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie as they continue their investigation.