Petito and Laundrie

Search Continues for Brian Laundrie in Florida; Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park [PHOTOS]

Authorities are continuing to search for Gabby Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who is a person of interest in the woman’s disappearance, CNN reports.

Law enforcement is expected to resume efforts at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where crews had been conducting “ground surveys” on Saturday in an effort to find Petito.Meanwhile, local and federal authorities returned to a large nature reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, shortly before 10 a.m. local time Sunday to continue the search for Laundrie, according to WINK-TV.

Laundrie’s family disclosed to investigators on Friday that he left their home with a backpack on Tuesday and told them he was going to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve. The family has said they have not seen or heard from him since.

A crew of more than 50 law enforcement officers is searching for Laundrie in Florida using numerous types of equipment, drones and bloodhounds, according to WFLA-TV.
Police on Saturday sought to quash false rumors on social media that a body had been discovered in the reserve, a claim that the North Port Police Department called “completely fake.”

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, had been traveling together on a cross-country road trip over the summer. But Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, Florida, on September 1 alone.

Authorities began investigating Petito’s disappearance on September 11 after her mother reported her missing.

Police have emphasized that while Laundrie is a person of interest in the case, he is not wanted for a crime.

Laundrie has refused to speak with law enforcement and his family initially referred investigators to their attorney. After police searched their home on Friday, the family told police they had not seen Laundrie since Tuesday, and their attorney told CNN that Laundrie’s whereabouts “are currently unknown.”

The news prompted a lawyer for the Petito family to issue a statement asserting that Laundrie’s absence is intentional. “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” the statement reads.

The FBI, National Park Service and local authorities were searching the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Saturday and were expected to resume search efforts Sunday morning. The search has been concentrated on the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which is on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation, so we ask the public to maintain distance from any law enforcement personnel, equipment, vehicles, and their related activity for the safety of the public in these remote areas and to protect the integrity of our work,” the FBI’s Denver field office tweeted on Saturday.

–Read CrimeOnline’s complete coverage of the Gabby Petito case.

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