A Florida environmental park where investigators have been searching for fugitive Brian Laundrie has re-opened to the public for the first time since authorities launched a large-scale search for the person of interest in Gabby Petito’s murder.
As the New York Post reports, the city of North Port, Florida, announced on Monday that the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is now open to the public, suggesting that investigators are no longer focusing on that area in the search for Laundrie, whose parents said he left for a hike on September 13. The city did not indicate whether the decision to re-open the park means the search for Laundrie is coming to a close. The Carlton Reserve, another focus of the search, remains closed to the public.
“As this is an ongoing investigation there is no additional comment at this time,” a spokeswoman for the FBI Denver field said in a response to a request for comment from the New York Post.
Petito was found dead in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on September 19, weeks after she fell out of contact with her family while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. A medical examiner determined that Petito died of manual strangulation. Laundrie had been named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance after she was reported missing, but has not yet been named a suspect in her murder.
Laundrie returned to his North Port home on September 1 without Petito, and never reported her missing. He also never spoke to police about Petito’s disappearance before Laundrie himself vanished, reportedly on September 13. It is unclear if authorities have any additional leads about Laundrie’s whereabouts aside from the information his parents provided to police.
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