Authorities scour wilderness preserve for Laundrie, person of interest in Gabby Petito's disappearance

North Port Police announced Saturday morning that federal and local law enforcement officers launched a search for Brian Laundrie in the vast Carlton Reserve.

News 12 Staff

Sep 18, 2021, 10:27 AM

Updated 1,029 days ago

Share:

A week after frantic search efforts began to find missing Long Island native Gabby Petito, the one person thought to hold all the answers has also disappeared.
The revelation was made Friday night as protesters demanded answers outside Brian Laundrie's home in North Port, Florida. Police spoke with his family inside and learned that he had gone missing.
NOTES AND UPDATES: Live Blog
Police say the Laundrie family is claiming that they “have not seen their son since Tuesday.”
Federal and local law enforcement spent Saturday scouring the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida for Laundrie. The family told authorities they believe he entered the county park earlier in the week.
Laundrie, 23, has faced mounting scrutiny since Petito didn't return from a cross-country road trip the couple had documented on YouTube and other social media. Police named him a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.
Laundrie remained tight-lipped about his fiancée’s whereabouts.
The Petito family released a blistering statement through their attorney, saying, "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing."
The Petito family attorney told News 12 that no interviews will be granted with family on Long Island for the time being. Petito's stepfather Jim Schmidt has been talking to the media from Wyoming.
“All that matters is finding her and bringing her home,” he said.
Schmidt is with federal and local authorities in Wyoming, where they have focused the search for Petito in National Teton Park. The FBI released a new missing person poster of Petito.
Her family is praying someone will see it and provide information that will help bring her home safe.
"We're keeping each other up. Remaining strong. We have our moments. We're human. But we're still focused on what we need to do and that's to find her, and we're determined to do that," said Schmidt.


More from News 12
1:48
Hempstead lifeguards: Shark spotted at Lido Beach

Hempstead lifeguards: Shark spotted at Lido Beach

2:26
HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid weather continues before some storms finally bring relief to Long Island

HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid weather continues before some storms finally bring relief to Long Island

7:10
Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

1:36
Long Islanders seek to stay safe from sun amid intense heat

Long Islanders seek to stay safe from sun amid intense heat

0:47
NY AG, NYCLU sue Nassau County over controversial law on transgender athletes

NY AG, NYCLU sue Nassau County over controversial law on transgender athletes

0:26
Christopher Carini, Hempstead councilman and veteran law enforcement officer, has died

Christopher Carini, Hempstead councilman and veteran law enforcement officer, has died

1:58
Video of suspect in DWI crash that killed 2 Roslyn teens shown in court

Video of suspect in DWI crash that killed 2 Roslyn teens shown in court

0:46
Huntington woman says house fire may have damaged artifacts she planned to display

Huntington woman says house fire may have damaged artifacts she planned to display

0:26
Cooling centers open in Hempstead and Riverhead amid excessive heat

Cooling centers open in Hempstead and Riverhead amid excessive heat

2:07
Dr. Sanjey Gupta offers health tips amid dangerous heat conditions

Dr. Sanjey Gupta offers health tips amid dangerous heat conditions

3:40
Long Island officials reflect on Trump assassination attempt and security concerns for future public events

Long Island officials reflect on Trump assassination attempt and security concerns for future public events

3:30
Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

0:17
Police: Suspect wanted for fleeing scene of crash in Shirley

Police: Suspect wanted for fleeing scene of crash in Shirley

0:28
Police: 3 people injured following wrong-way crash in West Islip

Police: 3 people injured following wrong-way crash in West Islip

5:30
In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

1:37
Family rallies for harsher penalties for drivers under the influence of marijuana following fatal incident

Family rallies for harsher penalties for drivers under the influence of marijuana following fatal incident

1:54
Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

2:04
Nassau County heightens safety precautions for public events following Trump rally shooting

Nassau County heightens safety precautions for public events following Trump rally shooting

2:37
Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

2:07
A look back at US political violence that changed history

A look back at US political violence that changed history