Search Continues for Gabby Petito’s Fiancé Brian Laundrie: Why Authorities Say He’s Been So Hard to Find

by Lauren Boisvert

Gabby Petito’s fiancé has been missing for almost a week, and officials have picked up the search for him again. Recently, police ended their search in Carlton Reserve, but have restarted again on the Venice side of the 25,000-acre Reserve, according to North Port police. Now, allegedly, civilians spotted Laundrie in the Mobile, Alabama area, but those leads have proven unfruitful.

Mobile Police Captain Paul Birch said they’ve been getting several calls about sightings. He stated, “We’ve dispatched a vehicle for each and every call and verified that the person was not Laundrie.”

Currently, Laundrie is a person of interest in the case and not a criminal suspect. Thought, he refused to cooperate with police and authorities, which has left them without leads or valuable information into Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

Why is Brian Laundrie So Hard to Find?

So far, the search for Laundrie has come up with nothing. Laundrie’s parents have not seen him since Tuesday Sept. 14 when he took a backpack and told them he was going hiking in Carlton Reserve. Visibility is poor in the reserve, with thick foliage and lack of sunlight, but police are trying to combat that by using drones and bloodhounds. Laundrie may be wearing clothes to help him camouflage or may be walking through creek beds to avoid leaving footprints.

“It’s really hard to find people even when they want to be found,” Chris Boyer, National Association for Search and Rescue executive director, told CNN. It is important to note that Laundrie had a significant head start, as his parents didn’t report him missing until Friday Sept. 17.

“The search area starts to grow every hour he could be in a car or be on foot,” said Boyer. Essentially, he currently has the advantage over police if he doesn’t want them to find him.

Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida alone on Sept 1. He did not cooperate with police and authorities on the case, instead choosing to hire an attorney and then disappear.

Laundrie Seen ‘Slapping’ Gabby Petito in Utah

According to a 911 call and bodycam footage from Moab City police, on Aug. 12 Brian Laundrie assaulted Gabby Petito by slapping and hitting her, before getting in their van and speeding off.

Petito told the officer with her that she and Laundrie had “been fighting this morning” and that they were having “some personal issues.” According to police, their stories didn’t match up, but neither pressed charges.

“No one reported that the male struck the female, both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged and to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” read the police report, according to Yahoo.