Gabby Petito Case: Police Conclude Thursday Search at Florida Reserve for Brian Laundrie, Plan to Return

by John Jamison

Once again, a day has come and gone with no sign of Gabby Petito’s fiance Brian Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida. The North Port Police and accompanying agencies ramped up their efforts with extra manpower and equipment but found nothing.

“The ground search in the Carlton has been halted for the day. Nothing found. We will be back at it Friday. A federal arrest warrant has now been issued for Brian Laundrie. Please see @FBIDenver for details,” the North Port Police tweeted.

The search has been going steady for a week. And the swampy terrain has made things tough on those involved. Law enforcement agencies have employed the use of drones, divers, and swamp buggies to maximize efficiency.

“These swamp buggies are important for us because you’re at higher altitude looking down, and you can get into the deeper water, the deeper marsh. About 75% of this area is water, and we can’t see how deep it is. So it’s more effective to bring these higher vehicles into those areas,” North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell told Fox News.

Despite the lack of results, agencies plan on heading back out there tomorrow. The police called off their investigation of the area on September 20. But they returned with a different approach the next day.

The change of tune could have had something to do with the FBI‘s involvement in the search.

“A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25,000-acre preserve has yet to yield any answers. But we must press on,” North Port Police said earlier this week. “This is an FBI-led criminal investigation. North Port Police are assisting our federal partner in any way we can to bring this investigation to a close.”

Arrest Warrant Issued for Brian Laundrie Isn’t for the Murder of Gabby Petito

The arrest warrant issued by the FBI Thursday afternoon doesn’t accuse Brian Laundrie of Gabby Petito’s murder. Rather, the warrant is connected with actions Laundrie took in the wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance. The FBI cites Laundrie’s use of “unauthorized access devices.”

The Laundrie family’s attorney texted 10 Tampa Bay’s Shannon Clowe following the announcement.

“It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise. The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum,” Steven Bertolino wrote in the text.

The Laundrie family has remained largely silent recently. But their neighbors in North Port have been vocal. Many have urged Brian Laundrie to turn himself in. News and law enforcement vehicles have overtaken the neighborhood in recent days.