‘We’re not wasting our time out here’: Police Commander Explains Why Brian Laundrie Search Continues in Swampy Reserve

NPPD Commander Joe Fussell knows that people are questioning why the search continues for Brian Laundrie in a swampy Florida reserve, but he insists that law enforcement professionals know what they are doing.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 23-year-old Laundrie is wanted on a felony warrant following the death of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Laundrie and Petito embarked on a cross-country trip in July, but by September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida with Petito’s van, sans Petito.

Earlier this week, authorities found Gabby’s deceased body in a remote area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Officials confirmed that the manner of death was a homicide but the cause of death is still pending.

On Thursday, authorities issued a federal warrant for Laundrie for allegedly using a credit card without permission, after Gabby passed away. Laundrie is now on the run and police spent their sixth day searching for him at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County.

Laundrie’s parents told investigators that Laundrie left for the reserve last week and they haven’t heard from him since. Meanwhile, numerous people online continue to think searchers are wasting their time looking in the wrong area.

We’re not wasting our time out here,” Fussell said. “We are doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that our intelligence has led us [to believe] that he could possibly be in,” NPPD Commander Joe Fussell said.

So far, six days of searching the expansive 25,000-acre nature reserve have not turned up anything. But the search team is prepped to search again over the weekend.

“We’re out here searching for Brian. We’re covering this area as well as we can. These guys are working really hard,” Fussell said. “They come back every day fresh and ready to go. It’s hot, it’s wet out there, but they’re working really hard.”

Anyone with information on Laundrie’s whereabouts should contact the FBI at: tips.fbi.gov, call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or 303-629-7171. Upload photos and videos to: fbi.gov/petito.

The FBI specifically asked that anyone in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between August 27 and August 30 who may have seen Gabby Petito or Brian Laundrie or their van to contact authorities.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Moab PD]