Brian Laundrie's father arrives at Florida reserve to help search after recent campsite found

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Thursday, October 7, 2021
Laundrie's father asked to help with search for son in Petito case
Brian Laundrie's father has has been asked to assist in the search for his son in the Gabby Petito case.

NEW YORK -- Brian Laundrie's father is now joining in the search for his son in connection with the Gabby Petito case.

Law enforcement wants Chris Laundrie to direct them within the Carlton Reserve to a spot where he claims Brian might be hiding.

The trip was supposed to take place Wednesday, but the Laundrie family attorney says police postponed it.

"Chris Laundrie was asked to assist law enforcement in their search for Brian at the preserve today. Since the preserve has been closed to the public Chris has not been able to look for Brian in the only place Chris and Roberta believe Brian may be. Unfortunately, North Port police had to postpone Chris' involvement but Chris and Roberta are hopeful there will be another opportunity to assist," Steven Bertolino said in a statement.

Thursday, Bertolino confirmed that Chris Laundrie was actively participating in the search. "Chris Laundrie is assisting Law Enforcement today in the search for Brian. Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve. Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally 3weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better. The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well but the parents have been cooperating since the search began."

On Wednesday, law enforcement combed the Carlton Reserve, a nearly 25,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County, Florida.

RELATED | Gabby Petito disappearance timeline: What we know

Gabby Petito was traveling with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in a cargo van the two had outfitted as a makeshift recreational vehicle for a months-long cross-country road trip when she mysteriously disappeared.

Bertolino also recently confirmed that Brian flew home to Florida and then back to Utah, in the middle of the couple's road trip.

The attorney says Brian went to Florida to obtain some items and close a storage unit, leaving his fiancée alone out west.

Laundrie returned to Utah on Aug. 23, four days before Petito was last seen alive. Petito, 22, was found dead in Wyoming on Sept. 19.

Laundrie's trip back to the Tampa area came five days after he and Petito were stopped by police in Moab, Utah when witnesses reported the couple was engaged in a domestic violence incident in Moab.

The attorney for his family says that his parents last saw him on Sept. 13 and not the following day, as they originally told police. They say he went to go on a hike at the nearby Carlton Reserve.

The clarification came after further communication with the FBI.

"The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, Sept. 13," Bertolino said.