North Port Police continue to search the Carlton Reservation for Brian Laundrie

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NORTH PORT – The nearly weeklong manhunt for Brian Laundrie continued Thursday as investigators ramped up their search in the Carlton Reservation and reduced their focus.

Authorities said Thursday they were looking for a laundromat in a specific section of the Carlton reserve, the first time the search was restricted, but did not say where. More than 75 law enforcement personnel from 16 different agencies were on the ground to search Thursday.

“We have partnered with other law enforcement agencies in our area,” North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell said in a video released by the agency on Thursday. “We teamed up, we split them into different groups to do a linear search and a grid search in a specific area of ​​the Carlton reserve. “

“Today we have other agencies with new agents who did not come last week. They joined us and locked arms with us to deploy them to see what we can find, ”Fussell said. “We cover many acres, so we need all this manpower and all the staff we can hire. “

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he has called on all state agencies under his jurisdiction to contribute to the effort.

The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port is used as a staging area to store equipment from nearby agencies and is now closed to the public “until further notice.”

North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said authorities are looking for laundries everywhere, not just on the reservation.

Is he outside? :Brian Laundrie “will live in hell” if he is well on the Carlton reserve, says survival expert

Previously:Brian Laundrie’s search resumes for day four at Carlton Reserve

Opinion:Brian Laundrie is long gone from North Port

Taylor posted a video to Twitter on Thursday of officers on a bouncing swamp buggy as they navigate rough terrain, with swamps, palm fronds and other trees in the way. “Rough is an understatement,” Taylor said in the caption of the post. Another video shows officers deploying a drone over the wilderness.

Authorities used drones, ATVs, UTVs and boats to search for Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance and death of her fiancé Gabby Petito. Thursday marks the fifth day that authorities have unsuccessfully fanned the 25,000-acre swamp reserve.

“It’s a huge and massive land,” Fussell said. “The more people there are, the more efficient we are. And they bring resources, like swamp buggies. These swamp buggies are important to us because you’re at a higher elevation looking down, and you can get into deeper water, deeper swamps. About 75% of this area is underwater, so we can’t see how deep it is, and it’s more efficient to bring these vehicles higher into these areas. “

Service for Petito to be in New York

A memorial for Petito was slated for Sunday in New York at Moloney’s Holbrook funeral home, according to the funeral home’s website, but the information has since been withdrawn, and the website now says services are awaiting dates and times. .

A Wyoming coroner confirmed on Tuesday that the human remains found in Grand Teton National Park are those of Petito, 22, according to the FBI in Denver. The coroner initially ruled Petito’s death as a homicide.

Petito disappeared on a cross-country trip with Laundrie – who brought Petito’s van back to North Port without her and refused to cooperate with authorities, frustrating police in the search. Then on Friday, Laundrie’s parents reported him missing, claiming he went for a hike on September 14 and never returned home.

Chronology:From the road trip with Brian Laundrie to the active criminal investigation

Authorities have not officially named Laundrie a suspect, although he is considered a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance.

North Port Police officials said all media interviews regarding the case were on hold until further notice. The FBI declined to comment, referring the public to the agency’s Twitter account for updates.

Authorities describe Laundrie as a white male, five feet eight inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown eyes, short brown hair and cropped facial hair.

Boohoff Law, a North Port law firm that also has offices in Tampa and Seattle, announced Thursday a reward of $ 20,000 for information leading directly to Laundrie’s exact whereabouts.

The city of Moab will investigate

In a video that went viral, police in Moab, Utah, arrested Petito and Laundrie two weeks before his disappearance.

Officers from Moab stopped Petito’s van on August 12 after it was observed accelerating and colliding with a sidewalk. Body camera footage shows Petito visibly shaken and crying following a scuffle between the couple.

Background:Police footage of Gabby Petito offers new insight

In his report, the officer in charge of the arrest concluded that he “did not believe that the situation had degenerated as much into a domestic assault as a mental health crisis”.

Police separated the couple overnight to “reset their mental states.” Laundromat was taken to a hotel. Petito took the motorhome.

The city of Moab said Thursday it would now open an investigation into the incident after an “outside party” called for a review of police handling of the domestic conflict.

“The City of Moab Police Department has clear standards for the conduct of officers in a possible domestic conflict, and our officers are trained to follow those standards and protocol,” the city said in a statement Thursday. “At this time, the City of Moab is not aware of any violation of police department policy during this incident. However, the city will conduct a formal investigation and, based on the results, take any next steps that may be appropriate. “


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