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Brian Laundrie could be in Florida swamp ‘for months’, police say

Fiancé of Gabby Petito, who disappeared on a cross-country road trip, is also missing

Harriet Sinclair
Monday 20 September 2021 07:20 BST
Florida Police Search for Person of Interest in Gabby Petito Disappearance

The fiance of missing van life blogger Gabby Petito could disappear into Florida’s swamps “for months”, police said days after Brian Laundrie’s family said he was also missing.

Ms Petito was reported missing by her family on 11 September, several months into a cross-country van trip with Mr Laundrie. Ms Petito last called her mother on 25 August from the Grand Teton National Park area in Wyoming.

Mr Laundrie returned to the couple’s home of North Park, Florida, alone on 1 September and has since refused to cooperate with police, who have named him as a person of interest in the investigation into Ms Petito’s disappearance.

And this weekend it emerged Mr Laundrie was also missing, after his family’s lawyer contacted police to say that he hadn’t been seen since last Tuesday (14 September).

Police confirmed that they were conducting two missing persons investigations, one for Ms Petito in Wyoming and another for Mr Laundrie in Florida.

But following a Saturday search of the area around Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, part of the Carlton Reserve (where Mr Laundrie told his parents he would be ahead of his disappearance, the Daily Mail reported), police suggested it would be difficult to locate the missing 23-year-old.

North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor explained: “You could be out here for months if you wanted”.

He told the New York Post: “We’re not following him everywhere he’s going. We’re trying to keep an eye out kind of where he’s at so that when needed we could potentially reach him. But our focus was putting resources on trying to find Gabby.”

A search had not provided further information to police, by Mr Taylor suggested the situation was potentially perilous.

“I mean you have somebody, there’s an enormous amount of pressure I’m sure on him to provide answers on what’s going on here,” Mr Taylor commented.

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