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Gabby Petito case: Officials 'scaling back' search efforts for Laundrie at Florida nature reserve

Brian Laundrie
Posted at 8:27 AM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 13:34:55-04

As the search for Brian Laundrie enters its second week, officials are scaling back their massive efforts to find him in a Florida nature reserve in favor of a more targeted approach.

Since he went missing on Sept. 17, federal and local police have focused their tracking efforts at the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000 nature preserve near Laundrie's North Port, Florida, home.

But on Monday, a North Port Police spokesperson confirmed to USA Today and Fox News that the FBI — who is leading the search — would now base their search efforts on "targeted based on intelligence."

"I don't think you're going to see those large-scale types of efforts this week," Taylor said, according to USA Today. "Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access."

Gabby Petito's family is holding a press conference on Tuesday. Watch live below.

NBC News and Fox News report that FBI agents have also asked Laundrie's parents for some of their son's personal items in the hopes of conducting "DNA matching."

At a press conference on Tuesday, an attorney for Petito's family criticized Laundrie's family for their continued silence on their son's whereabouts and asked Laundrie to turn himself in to law enforcement.

"The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They sure are not going to help us find Brian. For Brian, we're asking you to turn yourself into the FBI, or the nearest law enforcement agency," attorney Richard B. Stafford said.

Laundrie is listed as a person of interest in connection with the homicide of his girlfriend, travel blogger Gabby Petito. The two were on a cross-country road trip in a converted van to Utah and Wyoming when Petito went missing in late August.

During their road trip, police in Moab, Utah, encountered the couple after receiving reports of a domestic dispute. No charges were filed after Laundrie and Petito told police they would spend the night in separate places.

Petito's parents say they last spoke to their daughter on Aug. 25. At that point, she told her family she and Laundrie were in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Laundrie returned to his Florida home without Petito on Sept. 1. She was declared missing on Sept. 11. At that point, police attempted to speak to Laundrie, though he declined to cooperate with the investigation.

After a week-long search, Petito's body was discovered near Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19. The manner of her death has been ruled a homicide, though coroners are still trying to determine her cause of death.

During a Sept. 16 press conference, police said they were aware of Laundrie's location. However, police said Laundrie had gone missing a day later and began a massive search effort to find him.