Search for Brian Laundrie continues Saturday in unforgiving terrain of Florida swamp


NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Search teams headed back into the Carlton Reserve on Saturday to continue the search for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito.

Authorities have been searching for Laundrie for a week, but there has been no trace of his whereabouts.

North Port Police came flying down the Laundie family’s street with lights and sirens about 7 p.m. Friday after reports of gunshots, but they turned out to be false.

A police spokesman said authorities got a call from an unknown phone number about gunshots, but after going inside and talking to neighbors, police found no such evidence.

The Laundrie family attorney shared new information on Friday, saying Brian had left home without his wallet or cell phone and that his parents are concerned he might hurt himself.

On Saturday, multiple agencies continued to search the unforgiving terrain of the 25,0000-acre Carlton Reserve again, looking for Brian.

North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell said the department isn’t not wasting time with the search.

“We’re doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that intelligence-led us that he could possibly be in,” Fussell said. “It’s upon us to make sure we search this area as best we can, as massive as it is, to try to find Brian.”

The conditions they’re exploring are difficult.

“We’re looking through wooded areas, bodies of water, swampy areas, and we’re deploying the resources to be able to do that,” Fussell said. “We have air units, drones, swamp buggies, airboats, multiple law enforcement agencies, and more.”

Laundrie reportedly went into the wooded reserve last Tuesday, which according to experts is about 75% underwater. Conditions are hot and muddy. If he is in there, experts say finding food, water, and shelter must be difficult.

8 On Your Side spoke with a self-proclaimed outdoor expert, Darry Jackson, who said he’s gone through survival school. He said if Laundie is still in the reserve, he’s probably in a world of pain.

“I think by now, he would be in such discomfort he would give himself up, because he is going to want food, Jackson said. “He’s going to want shelter.”

Jackson went on to say: “I would be surprised if he is there, and if so, I would be surprised if he was alive,”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories