NORTH PORT - After spending a day searching the home of his parents, law enforcement officers are returning for a third day of combing the wilderness near North Port to try to find Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of 22-year-old Gabby Petito.
"Alright, we're gonna get after this again," Joshua Taylor, spokesman for the city of North Port wrote in a statement Tuesday morning.
The North Port Police was be joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Wildlife Commission, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department, K-9 search and rescue teams, and other government partners.
Gov. Ron DeSantis sent out a tweet announcing his support and help for the effort.
"At the request of @NorthPortPolice, @MyFWC law enforcement has been assisting in the search for Brian Laundrie," it said. "I have directed all state agencies under my purview to continue to assist federal & local law enforcement as they continue to search - we need justice for Gabby Petito."
Searchers were centered again on the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve in central Sarasota County. About 50 officers from several organizations were in the 25,000 acre tract all day Saturday and Sunday, using bloodhounds, drones, airboats, ATVs and again with helicopters on Monday to try to find Laundrie — whose car sat at the entrance to the Reserve for two days last week.
"Tuesday, we will once again continue our search efforts in the Carlton Reserve, where Brian reportedly visited a week ago today to go hiking. This time, moving in from the Venice side of the area, along with adjoining lands. A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25-thousand-acre preserve has yet to yield any answers, but we must press on," Taylor wrote.
"Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times. It is currently (waist) deep in water in many areas. 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's family reported her missing Sept. 11, after last communicating with her Aug. 26 during a van trip out west with Laundrie, her one-time fiancé. Searchers found what they say is her body on Sunday evening in the Grant Teton National Park in Wyoming. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
FBI agents and North Port police searched the home of Brian Laundrie's parents on Wabasso Avenue in North Port on Monday.
The Laundries' attorney had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday morning but announced Monday night he was canceling it.
Anyone with information on Brian Laundrie should contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI or tips.fbi.gov.