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Petito and Laundrie

Manhunt Intensifies for Fugitive Brian Laundrie at Florida Nature Reserve: Report

On Wednesday, authorities intensified search efforts at a Florida wildlife preserve for Brian Laundrie, who remains missing following his girlfriend’s reported disappearance and death.

WFLA reported that unmarked police SUVs were seen entering the Venice side of the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County. Police were reportedly also spotted using a drone in the area.

Officials have not said what prompted the heightened search, which comes after several days of the search being scaled back.

Laundrie, 23, is wanted for credit card fraud for withdrawing $1,000 between August 30 and September 1 — when Petito was missing. Laundrie reportedly arrived in Florida on September 1, and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Petito, 22, was reported missing on September 11.

Petito reportedly last spoke to her mother on August 23 or 24. She told her that she and Laundrie were leaving Utah and driving to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

On September 19, Petito’s body was discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her preliminary manner of death was deemed a homicide.

Laundrie, who was deemed a person of interest in Petito’s initial disappearance, was believed to have left his parents’ North Port home on September 14. His parents claimed he went to the Carlton Reserve, but he remains unaccounted for.

Laundrie has not been charged in connection with Petito’s death.

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[Featured image: Gabrielle Petito, Brian Laundrie/Instagram]