Brian Laundrie search presses on as death of Gabby Petito ruled homicide: Live updates


(NORTH PORT, Fla.) -- A massive search is continuing in southern Florida for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who went missing on a cross-country trip and who authorities confirmed Tuesday as the body discovered on Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.

The search for the 23-year-old Laundrie is centered around North Port, Florida, where investigators said Laundrie returned to his home on Sept. 1 without Petito but driving her 2012 Ford Transit.

Laundrie has been named by police as a "person of interest" in Petito's disappearance. Laundrie has refused to speak to the police and has not been seen since Tuesday, Sept. 14, according to law enforcement officials.

The search for Laundrie is the latest twist in the case that has grabbed national attention as he and Petito had been traveling across the country since June, documenting the trip on social media.

Petito's parents, who live in Long Island, New York, reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her for two weeks.

Here are the latest developments. All times Eastern:

Sep 23, 2:12 pm

4 swamp buggies, drone used in search for Laundrie

North Port police shared video of the arduous effort to search through the Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie Thursday. Four swamp buggies and a drone from the Florida Highway Patrol are being used to search the area full of thick foliage and swamps.

About 75 personnel from 16 different agencies are on the ground Thursday, officials said.

“We’re covering many, many acres so we need all the manpower and all the staff we can grab,” Commander Joe Fussell said. “This is a tremendous mass of land … About 75% of this area is underwater.”

Early Thursday, Laundrie’s parents picked up the silver Mustang that officials towed earlier this week for processing and brought it back to their driveway. The car was towed away on Monday as a part of a search warrant related to the Petito case, the FBI said at the time.

Sep 23, 9:59 am

Search for Laundrie continues at Carlton Reserve

North Port Police shared a short video of their morning briefing with various agencies and search teams at the start of their Thursday search for Brian Laundrie at Florida’s Carlton Reserve.

Relatives told police he claimed he was heading to the 25,000-acre preserve near North Port, Florida, when they last heard from him on Sept. 14.

Authorities have been scouring the area throughout the week.

Sep 23, 9:37 am
Reported witness describes seeing Petito ‘upset’, Laundrie ‘angry’ at Wyoming restaurant

Nina Angelo opened up to “Good Morning America” on Thursday about purportedly seeing Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie at the Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Aug. 27, three days after her last known sighting.

The Blue Collar Restaurant Group told ABC News it believes Petito and Laundrie were at its Merry Piglet restaurant and have notified the FBI. However, its security cameras don’t go that far back so there is no footage of the duo allegedly inside the eatery.

Angelo described Laundrie in vivid detail as "aggressive" and "angry".

She said the couple was in an angry confrontation with restaurant staff.

“He was just very visibly angry. [Petito] was really upset, she was crying and he immediately went to the hostess stand and was just going in on the hostess and waitress, then eventually the manager,” Angelo said.

“I think she was being apologetic towards the restaurant staff for his behavior. She just kind of wanted to diffuse the situation. She was like, ‘I’m sorry, come on, let's just go.’ But she was visibly upset. She was crying,” Angelo said. “You could feel his temper. He was he was angry."

Authorities previously said the last time Petito was seen was Aug. 24.

Aug. 27, the day of the alleged restaurant sighting, was the same day Petito’s mom said she received a strange text from her daughter in which she referred to her grandfather as “Stan.” Petito’s mother said her daughter “never” referred to him as Stan.

Sep 22, 7:24 pm
Search for Brian Laundrie halted for the night

North Port, Florida, police announced Wednesday evening that they ended that day's search for Brian Laundrie with no updates on his whereabouts.

The department said it will resume its search Thursday morning.

Sep 22, 4:35 pm
Man captured on wildlife camera in the panhandle not Brian Laundrie

The Okaloosa County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday afternoon that a man whose image was captured on a wildlife camera in the Florida Panhandle this week is not Brian Laundrie.

The sheriff's office said deputies tracked down the individual, who is a local resident.

The owner of the wildlife camera told ABC News that the image was taken on a wooded trail in Baxter on Sept. 20 and that he alerted the sheriff's office because the man, who was walking with a backpack, resembled Laundrie. Baxter is about 500 miles northwest of where authorities have focused their search for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve near North Port.

Several Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies who viewed the image recognized the individual from his neck tattoo, enabling authorities to locate and speak to him, the sheriff's office said.

The report of the trail camera image set off an extensive search of the area in Baxter on Tuesday, the sheriff's office said.

Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 6:42AM by Bill Hutchinson and Ivan Pereira, ABC News Permalink