Petito and Laundrie

Gabby Petito: Search for Brian Laundrie Underway in Vast Florida Wilderness Preserve

Local and federal authorities on Saturday morning were searching a vast Florida wilderness preserve in an effort to locate Brian Laundrie, who is a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito.

In a tweet on Saturday, the North Port Police Department said it believes that Laundrie entered the Carlton Reserve earlier this week. The police department’s tweet included an image that showed numerous law enforcement officers and vehicles gathered.

“The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie. His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when available,” the tweet reads.

Saturday’s search comes less than 24 hours after Laundrie’s family disclosed that they had not seen him since Tuesday. At the time, he was reportedly wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap, the television station reports.

A Laundrie family attorney told CNN Friday that Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts “are currently unknown.”

Petito, 22, had been traveling with Laundrie this summer on a cross-country road trip. But Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida, on September 1 alone and Petito has not been heard from since late August.

Laundrie has declined to speak with authorities about Petito.

The Carlton Reserve spans nearly 25,000 acres in Sarasota County. A message on a website operated by a group that supports the reserve says that most of the trails on the property are flooded.

Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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[Feature Photo: Instagram]