FLORIDA authorities have refuted reports that investigators leading a manhunt for fugitive fiance Brian Laundrie had discovered a fresh campsite.
“…No campsite was found out there,” a spokesman for the North Port Police Department stated, deflating hopes of a lead on the missing young man.
CAMPSITE FIND REFUTED
On Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo reported on his show that a Laundrie family source informed him of “traces” of a makeshift campsite had been spotted in the 25,000-acre swampy Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida where the search for the 23-year-old has focused.
It now appears authorities don't believe they found a campsite that could be tied to Laundrie.
“Is it possible that they thought that there might be a campsite out there or something they may have seen from the air but when they go on the ground that’s not what it turned out to be?” the North Port Police Department spokesman told CNN.
“Sure, I think that’s a possibility.”
'PERSON OF INTEREST' BRIAN
The pursuit to track down Brian has continued to go strong since the manhunt was launched last month.
Brian was named a “person of interest” four days days before his 22-year-old ex-fiancee, Gabby, was found dead in Grand Teton Park in Wyoming.
The van-life couple logged two months of a cross-country road trip over the summer.
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Gabby was last heard from Aug. 27.
The Teton County coroner and FBI confirmed remains found on September 19 was Gabby.
The coroner ruled her death a homicide but the cause of death hasn’t been revealed.
On Sept. 23, the FBI Denver Field Office issued an arrest warrant for Brian.
He stands accused of using an “unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death.
The FBI issued an arrest warrant, accusing Brian of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1.
There have been a series of alleged sightings in multiple states as well as Mexico, Canada, and some believe he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail.
So far, the possible leads haven’t panned out.
And while Brian remains a person of interest in Gabby's death but has yet to officially be named a suspect.
DAD SHARES SON'S FAVE 'SPOTS'
The fugitive’s dad Christopher Laundrie spent about three hours aiding authorities to find Brian in the Carlton Reserve on Thursday.
The father spent a little over three hours at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.
“Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve,” the Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said.
“Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago, it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better.”
He joined the search for his son in the vast stretch of perilous swampland that is known to be filled with alligators and snakes.
Laundrie was reported missing on September 17 – days after allegedly telling his parents that he was going for a hike in the reserve.
The fugitive’s Ford Mustang was found 16 miles from the site, according to a redacted vehicle report.
Papers reveal that the car was found in the Myakkahatchee Environmental Park in Florida.
The Laundrie family appears to have changed the timeline of events they had originally shared with police.
According to a statement released by the family's attorney Steven Bertolino on Tuesday, Brian actually "left to hike in the preserve" on Monday, September 13, not Tuesday, September 14 as his parents originally stated.
Brian Laundrie timeline
Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:
- July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
- August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
- August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
- September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
- September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
- September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
- September 13: Laundrie leaves home to go hiking in Carlton Reserve, Florida. His family had initially said he departed on September 14, but revised their timeline weeks later.
- September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
- September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
- September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
- September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
- September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
- September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
- September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
- October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
- October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.
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