The hunt for missing Brian Laundrie took a twist just before noon Wednesday when police divers arrived at the vast swampland Carlton Reserve on the fourth day of the search.
A van from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force, towing a small dingy, turned up about an hour after an airboat was seen for the first time at the 25,000-acre reserve.
When asked if divers were recovering anything significant, North Port Police information chief Josh Taylor said: ‘We are looking. Nothing found. We have to work to rule it out though.’
‘Area resources are looking at large bodies of water, including dive teams, boats, and sonar equipment. At this time, this does not mean anything has been found. It’s a part of the overall search process,’ Taylor said. ‘Additionally, right now, NPPD is on scene of a possible self-inflicted death, roughly one mile from the Environmental Park. Nothing to do with this case.’
The sheriff’s office also calls the dive team its SURF Unit. On its website it says: ‘The SURF Unit is called upon to search for evidence of crimes and victims of drowning, water accidents an foul play.
‘These highly trained underwater specialists have to work in some of the most difficult and challenging environments imaginable, as many of the waterways are full of silt and sediment deposits that affect underwater visibility.’
A van from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force, towing a small dingy, turned up about an hour after an airboat was seen for the first time at the 25,000-acre reserve
Police divers joined the search for Brian Laundrie just before noon Wednesday with an airboat to join the manhunt for Brian Laundrie
Search teams from multiple law enforcement agencies gathered Wednesday for a briefing before heading out into the 25,000-acre swampland
Laundrie’s whereabouts are still unknown, with the manhunt entering its fourth day at a nature reserve m Florida (pictured)
Police and FBI agents resumed their search of the Carlton Reserve early Wednesday, sharing photos of search dogs (above)
Brian Laundrie mowed the lawn and went on family bike rides ‘like nothing bothered him’ after returning from cross-country trip alone, says neighbor
Brian Laundrie’s neighbor has revealed that the 23-year-old mowed the lawn and went on family bike rides ‘like nothing bothered him’ after returning from the cross-country trip alone.
Charlene Guthrie, who lives across the street from the Laundrie family in North Port, Florida, told Fox News she saw Laundrie return to ‘normal life’ – all the while his girlfriend Gabby Petito was missing, possibly already dead.
‘He mowed the lawn. Him and his mother went for a bicycle ride around the block,’ Guthrie said.
‘I mean, everything was just normal life once he came back.
‘And I just can’t get over the fact that they — it seemed like nothing bothered him. How can you do that?’
Laundrie returned to North Port without Petito in the couple’s campervan on September 1. Authorities were then alerted to her disappearance on September 11.
Guthrie said the discovery of Petito’s body and Laundrie’s disappearance look ‘really, really bad for him’ and that she believes he ‘should be a suspect.’
The neighbor also hit out at Laundrie’s parents for not coming forward when their son went missing and that they ‘let him go’ in the first place.
‘I have children, and I know that you do what you can to protect your child, but, you know, that can go so far, and you gotta do the right thing eventually. You have to,’ Guthrie said.
‘[The Laundries] should have absolutely come forward now. I mean, I just… can’t believe they didn’t do something. I’m really angry now that they… let this go.
‘And that everything was so natural and they remained so normal through the whole thing, you know, while they were here, till he went on the run.’
FBI and other law enforcement officers are ‘hungry’ to find Laundrie, a top cop revealed in a new video of the search from North Port Police.
Local police Commander Joe Fussell, who is helping to coordinate the hunt, said: ‘We are trying to cover every acre in this reserve.
‘These guys, our law enforcement partners are motivated and they are hungry to find Brian Laundrie. It’s rough out there, it’s hot, it’s wet.’
The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed a temporary flight restriction zone over the area being searched until 7pm. It is roughly a four-mile diameter.
This comes as Gabby Petito’s family slammed the ‘disgusting’ law firm representing Brian Laundrie’s family and said they will issue a statement on her death when her body is returned to them in New York.
Petito’s grieving uncle Steve Petito lashed out at Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertoloni in an Instagram post late Tuesday saying we ‘don’t require nor want you empathy’ and accusing him of being ‘as guilty and complicit with this massive cover-up’.
Bertoloni had released a statement Tuesday after a preliminary autopsy confirmed the body found Sunday in a campsite near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming belongs to 22-year-old Petito and that her manner of death was homicide.
‘May Gabby Rest In Peace,’ the attorney said in the statement.
Laundrie’s whereabouts are still unknown, with the manhunt entering its fourth day in Florida and law enforcement sources saying the 23-year-old boyfriend of Petito is the ‘prime suspect’ in her homicide.
Police and FBI agents resumed their search of the Carlton Reserve early Wednesday, sharing photos of search dogs heading out into the 25,000-acre swampland on social media.
Steve Petito wrote on social media that attempts by Laundrie’s attorney to show ‘compassion’ are ‘beyond disgusting’.
‘As far as the law is concerned this law firm may be immune due to attorney/client privilege,’ he wrote.
‘But in the eyes of the public you are as guilty and complicit with this massive cover-up and stalling tactic.’
He added: ‘We don’t require nor want you empathy. By you trying to show compassion here at this moment is beyond disgusting.’
Steve told Fox News Wednesday the Petito family will release a statement when her remains are returned to them from Wyoming.
The coroner is still carrying out tests on the 22-year-old’s body to determine her cause of death.
Police named Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in his girlfriend’s disappearance last Wednesday.
At the time, the case was a missing person case with officials hopeful they would find the travel blogger alive.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ Laundrie is now their prime suspect in her death.
But prosecutors are said to be holding off from bringing charges or officially naming him a suspect until they can locate Laundrie.
Even then, this does not mean he will be charged with her murder.
The coroner ruled Petito’s manner of death homicide but the cause of death is yet to be determined.
‘Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999,’ FBI Denver tweeted Tuesday.
‘Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide.
‘The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results.’
In Colorado, homicide includes varying degrees of murder and manslaughter.
It is also unclear if Laundrie is even alive to face any possible charges.
His parents told law enforcement Friday they last saw him over a week ago last Tuesday when he left their home with a backpack and told them he was heading to the Carlton Reserve.
Gabby Petito, 22, is pictured with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, in a YouTube video made to document their ‘van life’ trip
Petito’s grieving uncle Steve Petito lashed out at Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertoloni in an Instagram post late Tuesday saying we ‘don’t require nor want you empathy’ and accusing him of being ‘as guilty and complicit with this massive cover-up’
A North Port police spokesman said early Wednesday that searchers have ‘huddled up’ and headed out again to look for Laundrie in the vast, alligator-infested reserve.
The terrain is particularly treacherous, with 80 miles of hiking trails and some sections nearly impassable to humans.
The Sarasota Police Department tweeted Wednesday that, despite rumors, Laundrie is not in custody and the search for him was continuing.
The search was called off for the night late Tuesday before agents from around eight different teams returned to continue with their efforts early Wednesday.
The search began on Saturday, starting at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park which is linked to the Carlton Reserve, a vast nature reserve about five miles from the North Port home Laundrie shared with his parents and Petito.
The search was then paused Monday when authorities said they had ‘exhausted all avenues’ before teams returned to the area Tuesday, where they focused their attention on the area closer to the city of Venice, along with adjoining lands.
On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all state agencies to assist federal and local law enforcement in the search, saying ‘we need justice for Gabby’.
More than 50 searchers from at least eight law enforcement agencies led by the FBI used huge swamp-busting amphibious vehicles, ATVs, bloodhounds, other K9s and drones to comb through the snake and alligator-infested swampland.
A memorial cross of stones is arranged at the spot believed to be the final resting place of Petito at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite, close to Grand Teton National Park
The undeveloped campground is popular with tourists though it has no water or trash service. Above, a sign points to the area
The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11
The FBI is asking anyone who may have had contact with Petito or Laundrie, may have seen their vehicle or who visited the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest between August 27 and 30 to contact authorities.
Petito was last seen alive August 24 leaving a motel in Salt Lake City in Utah with Laundrie during the cross-country campervan trip that she and Laundrie had set out on back in early July.
She was then last heard from the next day when she called her mom Nicole Schmidt.
Laundrie arrived back in North Port alone on September 1 in their van and Petito was reported missing September 11 by her family.
Laundrie refused to cooperate with investigators or tell them when he had last seen his girlfriend and was named a person of interest in her disappearance last Wednesday – four days before a body was discovered.
Laundrie’s parents then made the stunning revelation Friday that he too had vanished and that they had not seen him since September 14 – when he allegedly left their home with a backpack saying he was heading to the reserve.
Their attorney said the family went looking for Laundrie on Wednesday and found his silver Ford Mustang convertible at the reserve, which had a police note on it demanding that the vehicle be removed from the area.
The family initially left the car there so Laundrie could drive it back, but they returned on Thursday to retrieve it, he said.
On Monday, a dramatic FBI raid was executed on the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, and the Mustang was seized by authorities.
In seeking the search warrants, investigators cited an ‘odd’ text message sent from Petito’s phone to her mom on August 27, which set off alarm bells.
The text read: ‘Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls’.
‘Stan’ referred to Petito’s grandfather but Petito’s family insist she would not usually refer to him by his first name.
‘Don’t try to find me. I have finally escaped my master’s clutches’: Brian Laundrie’s cryptic Pinterest posts
Gabby Petito’s missing boyfriend Brian Laundrie shared cryptic messages on Pinterest before his girlfriend’s death was declared a homicide.
A folder titled Things To Burn Off is filled with pictures of tattoos – most of them diabolical with images of demons, crypt keepers and more cynical quotes.
One tattoo read: ‘Do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR)’ in red ink surrounding a picture of a man performing CPR with a red ‘X’ through it.
‘Doctor, I want to die dignifiedly,’ it also said.
There was also an image of a woman with a tattoo across her back saying: ‘I’m the hero of this story. I don’t need to be saved.’
The obscure quote leaves a lot up to the imagination, including queries about whether Laundrie was trying to send a message.
Another post, titled The Opposite Of Lost, said: ‘Don’t try to find me. I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches’ under an image of purple and pink clouds read.
‘To others I say: Join me. Bite the hand that feeds you. Vive la liberté,’ it added.
It appears to have originated from a missing dog flier in Oregon in 2006.
Other items Laundrie shared to a folder he called ‘My Heart’ are just as mystifying, and a photo he reposted of a pillow embroidered with the quote ‘sorry for what I said while we were trying to park the camper,’ cannot be missed.
Other posts include a line from the 1999 movie Fight Club that said: ‘It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.’
A particularly disturbing post under the account @blaundrie1197 showed a headstone with ‘my baby’ inscribed on it.
The artwork, which was designed by Sacha Strange, also read: ‘She’ll never find a sweet man like me. Let her go, let her go, God bless her, wherever she may be.’
Gabby Petito’s missing boyfriend Brian Laundrie shared cryptic messages on Pinterest a month before his girlfriend’s death was declared a homicide. The post – titled The Opposite Of Lost – appears to have originated from a missing dog flier in Oregon in 2006
A photo he reposted of a pillow embroidered with the quote ‘sorry for what I said while we were trying to park the camper,’ cannot be missed
Other items Laundrie shared to a folder he called My Heart are just as mystifying, including a quote from the 1999 movie Fight Club that said: ‘It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything’
A particularly disturbing post showed a headstone with ‘my baby’ inscribed on it. The artwork, which was designed by Sacha Strange, also read: ‘She’ll never find a sweet man like me. Let her go, let her go, God bless her, wherever she may be’
Brian Laundrie (pictured) arrived home early from the campervan trip – on September 1 – without Gabby Petito. She was reported missing on September 11 and Laundrie went missing himself on September 14
Another posts features a skull and a hand holding what appears to be a match with accompanying text that reads: ‘You do it yourself, and that’s what really hurts.’
And another mentions the phenomenon nyctophilia, ‘a love of darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness’ while another asks: ‘Am I okay?’
According to The Sun Laundrie shared the account with Petito and his mother Roberta. It’s unknown when exactly the cryptic images were posted or if Laundrie himself was behind it.
However, the account was last used five weeks ago and the latest post is a drawing of a matchbox that reads: ‘Burnt out.’
The post cites the book Burnt Out: How To Cope With Autistic Burnout in a folder he named Bleak, as reported by The Post.
A summary of the book said that ‘burnout leaves us feeling weak and exhausted’.
It added: ‘Autistic burnout is when autistic people can’t do things they used to because of how little energy they have left. It takes a whole lot more energy to function whilst being autistic and do basic tasks such as remembering to eat or doing laundry.’
Meanwhile, a folder called Life Goals is filled with much less obscure messages and contains a host of wedding inspiration-type images.
There’s a slew of photos with wedding dresses, table settings and even tips on making your own invitations and table settings. The couple were engaged.
Another posts features a skull and a hand holding what appears to be a match with accompanying text that reads: ‘You do it yourself, and that’s what really hurts’
It’s unknown when exactly Laundrie reposted the cryptic images to his Pinterest account but they are certainly plentiful. One mentions the phenomenon nyctophilia, ‘a love of darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness’ while another asks: ‘Am I okay?’
Meanwhile, a folder called Life Goals (pictured) is filled with much less obscure messages and contains a host of wedding inspiration-type images. There’s a slew of photos with wedding dresses, table settings and even tips on making your own invitations and table settings