Reality TV star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman’s daughter, Lyssa Chapman, has seen fugitives go to ground before only to pop up later when they think the heat is off. And she’s confident that slain hiker Gabby Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie will turn up eventually.
“Not giving up,” she tweeted Sunday. “It’s common that we (include you all) put so much heat on a fugitive they dig down, he will pop up again. Bait is set.”
Dog the Bounty Hunter Joined Hunt for Laundrie After He Disappeared
Petito, 22, had embarked on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie, 24, this summer in a white Ford converted camper van. They headed west together, but by the time they hit Utah, things had started to fall apart.
Police stopped the couple in Moab, Utah after a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing Laundrie hit Petito. However, after talking to each of them, the officers concluded the problem was more a joint mental health crisis than domestic abuse, and they sent Petito and Laundrie on their way after separating them for a night.
Petito’s final social media post went up on Aug. 25. Several people reported seeing Laundrie get into a verbal altercation with the waitstaff at a Wyoming restaurant several days later as a distraught Petito looked on. It’s not clear what happened next, but somehow, Laundrie wound up driving the van home to his parents’ house in Florida by himself.
Laundrie arrived back in early September. After lawyering up and refusing to speak to anyone about Petito’s location, he then went camping with his family. Dog the Bounty Hunter has said he finds this suspicious.
Meanwhile, Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11. On Sept. 19, searchers found her body in Teton-Bridger National Forest. The Teton County coroner ruled her death a homicide.
Shortly before Petito’s body turned up, Laundrie himself disappeared. His parents claim he went for a hike in a local nature preserve, and three days later, they reported him missing. The FBI has obtained a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest. But they have to find him first.
As authorities combed the local nature preserve with no luck, Dog the Bounty Hunter stepped in. He announced that he was joining the hunt for Laundrie, and tips started pouring in. Following up on one of them, Dog the Bounty Hunter headed for Fort De Soto Park outside St. Petersburg.
Chapman Reportedly Injured While Searching for Laundrie
But Dog the Bounty Hunter recently had to take a break from the search for Laundrie to travel back to Colorado for medical treatment. He reportedly hurt his ankle while hunting for the fugitive.
The reality show star is also fundraising to support what he says is an “expensive search.” Chapman is leading a group of locals on a water and ground search that includes search dogs.
Whatever Chapman does or doesn’t turn up, the pressure to find Laundrie is mounting as sustained national media coverage keeps the spotlight on Petito’s case.