Florida police said on Thursday that they were surveilling Brian Laundrie prior to his disappearance last month.
North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN that they monitored Laundrie, 23, as best they could. Laundrie reportedly arrived at his parents’ home on September 1. His girlfriend, Gabrielle Petito, 22, was nowhere to be found despite Laundrie driving to his parents’ home in her camper van.
CNN reported that police never spoke with Laundrie even though they said they were watching him. Taylor explained that police went to the home on September 11, but they did not see him and there was no chance to speak to him.
“NPPD, Suffolk County and the FBI were doing everything we could to keep an eye on Brian, within the law, based on the facts and evidence we had at the time,” Taylor said. “I cannot speak to specifics and a timeline or what exactly was taking place.”
Taylor confirmed in the email that police did not speak to or see Laundrie on September 11 when they visited the home. According to Taylor, his family would not speak to the police and only handed over information for their attorney.
“We had no legal authority to enter the home,” he said.
Laundrie, who was deemed a person of interest in Petito’s initial disappearance, is believed to have left his parents’ North Port home on September 13 or 14. His parents reported him missing on September 17.
Laundrie is wanted for credit card fraud for withdrawing $1,000 between August 30 and September 1 — when Petito, 22, was missing. Laundrie reportedly arrived in Florida on September 1 without Petito, and she was reported missing on September 11.
Petito spoke to her mother for the last time 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 13 or 14. His parents claimed he went to the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County, Florida.
Laundrie, who remains unaccounted for, has not been charged in connection with Petito’s death.
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[Featured image: Brian Laundrie/Moab Police Department]