- Brian Laundrie’s father joined an FBI-led search for his missing son on Thursday.
- Chris Laundrie headed to a Florida parkland adjacent to the vast Carlton Reserve.
- Brian – the sole person of interest in the Gabby Petito case – has been missing since mid-September.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chris Laundrie left his North Port, Florida, home in a pickup truck in the morning hours and then entered the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which connects to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County where authorities have been looking for Brian Laundrie since mid-September, attorney Steven Bertolino said.
The dad “is assisting law enforcement today in the search for Brian,” Bertolino told Insider, adding, “Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve.”
Bertolino explained that though Chris and his wife Roberta Laundrie “provided this information [to law enforcement] verbally three weeks ago, it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better.”
“The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundrie’s as well, but the parents have been cooperating since the search began,” Bertolino said.
The lawyer previously told Insider that Chris Laundrie was “asked to assist law enforcement” in their search of the Carlton Reserve on Wednesday, but his involvement in the effort was “postponed.”
“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,” Bertolino said at the time.
The parents reported their 23-year-old son missing to police in Florida on September 17, telling investigators that Brian Laundrie went out for a hike in the Carlton Reserve days earlier with only a backpack and never returned home.
Meanwhile, authorities scouring the snake-and-alligator-infested reserve have discovered the remnants of a campsite in the area that appeared to have been used recently, a source close to the Laundrie family told CNN.
There have been reports that Brian Laundrie is somewhat of a survivalist, including one in which Petito’s best friend claimed he stayed in the Appalachian mountains by himself “for months.”
“To my knowledge, he’s a backpacker,” Bertolino told Insider on Thursday.
Petito’s mother reported her missing to police in New York on September 11 after her family abruptly lost communication with the 22-year-old woman in late August while she was on a “van life” cross-country road trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie.
Authorities have said that Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1 with the van the couple had been traveling in and without Petito. He retained a lawyer and refused to speak with authorities.
Petito’s body was discovered on September 19 in a remote campsite of a Wyoming national forest and her death was later ruled a homicide.