The search for Brian Laundrie in a Florida nature preserve will be shortened this week, days after a county coroner said Laundrie’s fiancée, Gabby Petito, died by homicide.
The FBI is now leading the search that will be “conducted on the basis of intelligence,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said Monday.
More than 75 law enforcement officers from 16 agencies joined the search last week on the 24,000 acre Carlton Reservation in Sarasota County after the FBI issued a federal arrest warrant on the events after Petito’s death. Authorities used a dive unit, dogs, drones and all-terrain vehicles to search the wetlands.
“I don’t think you’re going to see those kinds of large-scale efforts this week,” Taylor told USA TODAY. “Hopefully, the water will decrease in areas that are difficult to access today.”
The park includes thousands of acres of marshy and subtropical terrain and wildlife, including alligators, snakes, bobcats, and coyotes. There are more than 100 miles of trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding, along with camping areas and rivers.
On Sunday, FBI agents visited Laundrie’s home and asked his parents for some of their son’s personal items to help with the “DNA comparison,” the family’s attorney said. NBC News and Fox News. The attorney did not immediately confirm the visit to USA TODAY. The FBI field office in Denver, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment on the case.
Laundrie was last seen nearly two weeks ago when he told his parents he would be hiking to the Carlton Preserve after returning home Sept. 1 without Petito from a cross-country trip to the national parks.
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The couple’s journey, which was documented on social media as a romantic affair, began in July and was scheduled to end in Oregon next month. After Laundrie returned home alone, investigators say he refused to share crucial information with them.
Petito’s The body was later found in a camp. near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito’s murder but has not been charged.
Laundrie has been indicted on charges of unauthorized use of a Capital One debit card and multiple accounts involving more than $ 1,000, according to documents released Thursday by the US District of Wyoming. The indictment also accuses Laundrie of unauthorized access to a device and says he used the bank accounts without permission from approximately August 30 to September 1.
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Meanwhile, television personality Duane Lee Chapman, also known as “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, joined the search and promised to find Laundrie before her 24th birthday on November 18. A law firm has offered a reward of $ 20,000 for information leading directly to Laundrie.
John Walsh, victim advocate and former host of the television show “America’s Most Wanted,” is also looking for Laundrie and solicit advice from the public.
As investigators searched for Laundrie, mourners gathered in New York on Sunday to celebrate Petito’s life. His funeral was in Holbrook, New York, near the Bayport-Blue Point community where Petito grew up.
Petito’s father, Joseph, told the crowd at the funeral home that the day was to remember his daughter, not the sadness of her death. NBC New York reported.
“When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table, because now the whole planet knows this woman’s name. And she has inspired many women and many men to do what is best for them first. “, said. . “I couldn’t be more proud as a father.”
Contributing: John Bacon and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY
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