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Police Halt Search for Brian Laundrie in Preserve

Fiance of Gabby Petito remains missing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2021 11:13 AM CDT
Police Halt Search for Brian Laundrie in Preserve
This police camera video shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was riding in with Gabby Petito on Aug. 12, 2021.   (The Moab City Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – As authorities await autopsy results to confirm that a body found in Wyoming is that of Gabby Petito, the focus in Florida is intensifying on her missing fiance. Monday's developments:

  • Family home: The FBI and police in North Port, Fla., swarmed the home of Brian Laundrie's parents on Monday, reports WFLA. "The FBI is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence," the FBI said in a statement. "No further details can be provided." Agents escorted Chris and Roberta Laundrie from their home and placed them in a van as the search began, per Fox News. Authorities also put up crime scene tape around the house.

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  • Where is he? Brian Laundrie has been missing since Tuesday, and authorities had been searching a nearby nature preserve. However, authorities suspended that search Monday, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Authorities said they had "exhausted all avenues in searching the grounds" there for Laundrie, who's been named a person of interest in the case.
  • 'Chills': Travel blogger Jenn Bethune appeared on Fox News Monday and spoke about her spotting what was believed to be the couple's van in Wyoming in late August. Bethune had visited the Tetons and reviewed photos and videos from the trip when news of Petito's disappearance emerged. "I got chills all over my body and ran straight back to my laptop, got my GoPro footage, and lo and behold Gabby's van was on there," she said. She informed authorities, and Petito's body was found days later. "I am so sad that we couldn't bring her back alive, but to be able to bring her back home to her family or to help with that is everything," Bethune said.
  • Police note: Laundrie's family says they found a note left by police on their son's car, which was discovered parked Wednesday near the nature preserve in Sarasota County, reports the New York Post. The note asked that the car be removed (its exact wording isn't specified), but the family left the vehicle in place on Wednesday hoping Laundrie would return to it, says a family attorney. The family then went back and retrieved the vehicle on Thursday, per Insider. They filed a missing-person's report for him on Friday.
(Read more Gabby Petito stories.)

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