Brian Laundrie could hide out in the swamps of the ‘vast’ Florida reserve ‘for months,’ police involved in Gabby Petito case say

A picture of vast greenery and forestry in Florida
Police are searching the Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie. North Port Police Department
  • Police said Brian Laundrie could potentially hide out in a Florida Reserve “for months” if he wanted to.
  • Police are searching for Laundrie, a person of interest in the Gabby Petito case, in the “vast” Carlton Reserve.
  • The Carlton Reserve has about 80 miles (129km) of hiking trails, most of which are currently flooded.
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Police said Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the Gabby Petito case, could potentially hide out in the Florida reserve “for months.”

Petito, who’s been missing since at least September 11, disappeared during a cross-country road trip with fiancé Laundrie. Laundrie returned home without 22-year-old Petito and has for days refused to cooperate with authorities despite desperate pleas from Petito’s family that he do.

And on Friday, police discovered that Laundrie has also disappeared.

“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian, and now they’ve called us here on Friday, we’ve gone to the home, and they’re saying now they have not seen their son,” North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN. “So we are working through those details as we speak. It is another twist in this story.”

The North Port Police Department said in a Twitter update on Saturday that officers and FBI agents are searching for Laundrie in Florida’s “vast” T. Mabry Carlton, Junior Memorial Reserve – known to locals as the Carlton Reserve.

“It’s muddy, it’s wet, there are a few unpaved dirt roads that are out there basically running along the power lines,” Taylor said, according to the New York Post.

Ahead of his disappearance, Laundrie told his parents he’d be at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which is part of the Carlton Reserve, the Daily Mail reported.

The reserve has about 80 miles (129km) of hiking trails, most of which are currently flooded, according to a warning posted on its website Saturday.

“You could be out here for months if you wanted,” Taylor said.

“We’re not following him everywhere he’s going. We’re trying to keep an eye out kind of where he’s at so that when needed we could potentially reach him,” Taylor said. “But our focus was putting resources on trying to find Gabby.

So far the search has yielded nothing.

“Our search of the Carlton is being called this evening due to darkness. Nothing found. Efforts will begin again Sunday morning,” North Port Police tweeted Saturday evening.

Police told the Post it’s “fair to say” that Laundrie might be dangerous – either to himself or to others around him.

“I mean you have somebody, there’s an enormous amount of pressure I’m sure on him to provide answers on what’s going on here,” Taylor said.