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Divers have today joined the search for Brian Laundrie who has now been missing more than a week.
The search for the 23-year-old, who is a person of interest in the murder of his fiance Gabby Petito in Wyoming, resumed this morning and is still focused around Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
“Members of our Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force have responded to Carlton Reserve. This in addition to our Emergency Response Team, Air-1 and patrol,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. “SURF Team members are divers called upon to search bodies of water for evidence. These highly trained deputies work in the most difficult and challenging environments imaginable.”
Laundrie has been missing since September 14 when he allegedly told his parents he was going hiking. His family however did not share this information with investigators until Friday, September 19, when they filed a missing persons report saying they had found his car at the reserve but did not find him.
“The Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times. It is waist deep in water in many areas,” North Port police said in a Facebook post. “This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through ‘gator- and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.”
Petito and Laundrie left in July on a cross-country adventure that was supposed to end in Oregon late next month. But Laundrie returned alone to their Florida home September 1, and Petito’s parents, who live on New York’s Long Island, reported her missing 10 days later.
Woman 'told FBI where to find Gabby Petito's body'
A TikTok user said she believes she led FBI detectives to find Gabby Petito’s body after allegedly spotting her white van and a “man acting weird” at a campsite.
Jessica Schultz and her friends camped at Spread Creek in Wyoming between August 22-29.
In a TikTok video, the camper said she and her friends noticed Petito’s white Ford Transit van several times during that period.
Schultz and her friends were interviewed before detectives announced human remains believed to be “consistent” with Gabby’s characteristics were found on Sunday.
She told the Chronicle: “We’re triumphant – we were right and we led them in the right direction.”
I saw Brian Laundrie parking his van #gabbypetito #findgabby
Guess this is part 2 #gabbypetito #findgabby
The camper claimed the FBI agent said they “tipped us off” to the right place.
On August 26, Schultz says she saw the vehicle and a man she believes now is Laundrie.
“He got out of the van to like look around or something,” she said. “There’s definitely nobody in that passenger seat; like he definitely doesn’t have a girl in there.”
On August 27, Schultz saw the van again.
This time, she was travelling as a passenger in her friend’s vehicle, and noticed that the van belonging to Petito was in the same area.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that guy stayed the night,'” Schultz recalled telling her friend.
She says she remembers it clearly because the van was not a designated parking spot.
Schultz also believes she saw the van on August 28, because she recalled thinking it was surprising the owners had not been asked to move it.
“The weirdest part of it was that there was no indication there was anybody at the van,” Schultz recounted on TikTok.
When footage of the missing couple began circulating, Schultz noticed the distinctive hat that was on the dashboard.
“My friend texted me a picture of the hat on the dashboard and I just lost my s**t,’ Schultz said. “And that’s when I called the FBI and said, ‘Guys, look at Spread Creek’.”
Meanwhile, the FBI is asking for the public’s help in finding Laundrie, who has eluded authorities since returning to Florida without Petito on September 1.
The agency is looking for information from anyone who may have come in contact with Laundrie or Petito, or who visited the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest from August 27 to 30 or may have seen their vehicle.
TikToker says she gave Brian Laundrie a ride
Another TikTok user, Miranda Baker, told the FBI that she and her boyfriend gave a lift to Laundrie on August 29 in Wyoming.
The couple also said that he claimed he was camping by himself for some days while Petito was back at their van working on social media posts.
According to Baker, the couple came in contact with Laundrie when he was hitchhiking in Colter Bay, Wyoming. It is not far from where Petito’s remains were found. Laundrie also seems to have offered to pay $200 for the ride, said Baker.
In a series of TikTok videos, Baker claims she picked up Laundrie on her way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He asked to get out about 6:09pm when she mentioned that city, she says in videos.
“Once I said Jackson Hole he became agitated,” she said. “He seemed like he needed to get out, he was kind of antsy. And that’s when things got weird.”
She said he continued trying to hitchhike when he got out of her car. She thought it was weird he offered her $200 for a 15km.
“He kind of hurried out of the car, and then was like ‘I’m going to find someone else to hitchhike’, and we’re like, ‘okay’. It was a weird situation.”
In the videos, she claims Laundrie suspiciously didn’t have a full backpack, noting, “You think if you’re going camping for days on end you’d want food and a tent and he had none of that.”
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