HomeNewsGabby Petito Case: Why are Authorities Returning to Florida Reserve to Search for Brian Laundrie?

Gabby Petito Case: Why are Authorities Returning to Florida Reserve to Search for Brian Laundrie?

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

Despite having called off the search for Brian Laundrie, Monday, September 20, the North Port Police department has now announced that search efforts would continue for the man who is named a person of interest in the Gabby Petito case. The search efforts for Laundrie will continue within the Carlton Reserve area in Florida.

Earlier this week, authorities searching for twenty-three-year-old Laundrie announced that they had exhausted all avenues while searching for the missing man in the county park near Sarasota Florida.

Laundrie Is Sought In an FBI-Led Investigation

It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the renewed search efforts.

But North Port police did call the case an “FBI-led criminal investigation” for the first time as they announced their plans to renew the search. This time, they say, the search will approach the sprawling Florida preserve from a different side.

“A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25,000-acre preserve has yet to yield any answers, North Port Police said recently. “But we must press on.”

“This is an FBI-led criminal investigation,” the North Port statement added. “North Port Police are assisting our federal partner in any way we can to bring this investigation to a close.”

This comes a week after Brian Laundrie, a man who has been named as a person of interest in the disappearance of Gabby Petito, had apparently vanished.

Since his disappearance, police had been searching the 25,000-acre wildlife refuge for Laundrie. This was the area where Laundrie was hiking before his disappearance.

The Search Contineues

However, the local department announced Monday the search was ending…only to return to the efforts Tuesday morning.

Authorities now plan to focus their search for the man on a specific area of the reserve. It was not clear what prompted officials to return to this area and resume the search efforts.

“Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times,” noted the North Port police statement.

“It is currently waist-deep in water in many areas,” the statement continued.

“This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through gator and snake infested swamps, the authorities added. “And flooded hiking and biking trails.”

Laundrie’s parents reported that he had set out for this reserve last Tuesday. According to reports, this was the last day anyone claims to have seen the man.

The Disappearance of Gabby Petito

Remains believed to be that of Petito was found last weekend at a Bridger-Teton National campground; which is located near the Grand Teton National park in Wyoming.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie had set out on a cross-country tour in July, visiting national parks throughout the country. Gabby Petito planned on documenting the journey via YouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #VanLife.

However, by the end of August, Petito’s parents had lost contact with their daughter and Petito’s regular posts to social media had stopped.

The last text the parents received from Petito’s number read simply: “No service in Yosemite.”

Laundrie later returned home by himself in the couple’s van on September 1; ten days before Gabyy Petito’s family reported the young woman as missing.