Dog the bounty hunter, who was running his own search operation to find Brian Laundrie for the past week, is now headed back to Colorado after he injured an ankle.
The American TV personality, whose original name is Duane Lee Chapman, had put together a team to look for Mr Laundrie, who has been missing for almost a month and is the only person of interest in the Gabby Petito homicide case.
The 22-year-old blogger’s remains were discovered on 19 September in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, after a week-long nationwide search.
However, reports have now emerged that the bounty hunter will take a break from the search and return home to treat an ankle injury.
“Just got an update from Dog the Bounty Hunter’s team. They say he’s headed back to Colorado soon to meet with his doctor after injuring his ankle in the search. He’s also raising funds to continue what he calls an ‘expensive search’,” WFLA news anchor Josh Benson wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
“Team says he’s put together a talented network of local team members he calls the ‘Florida Team’ that will continue the search while he’s gone. He says he will continue to process leads in Colorado while he’s there,” Mr Benson added.
The bounty hunter’s daughter Lyssa Chapman also confirmed that he was returning home. However, she made no mention of the injury.
“Dad is headed back to Colorado temporarily to handle some business. (Remember, he was in Florida on his honeymoon),” she wrote. “We are still actively searching for #BrianLaundrie, leaving a team in place in Florida. As always, whatever I can share with you, I will.”
Mr Chapman told The Sun last week that his team was tracking down leads and claimed that they had received some 3,500 calls. Many of the calls were from his fans saying “Hello, We love the Dog!” but the rest were “pretty good”, he said.
Petito and Mr Laundrie were on a two-month-long cross-country road trip in the US. But only he returned to his family’s North Port home on 1 September. After Petito’s family were unable to contact their daughter for days, she was declared missing on 11 September.
Mr Laundrie has remained non-cooperative throughout the investigation in this case. His family reported him missing on 17 September as they had not heard from him since 14 September, when he went for a hike in the “vast and unforgiving” 24,565-acre Carlton Reserve.
Since then, the police have launched a manhunt to locate the absconding person in the alligator-infested nature reserve.
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