Gabby Petito Case Live Updates: K-9 Units Join Dog the Bounty Hunter in Search for Brian Laundrie

Live Updates

The search for Brian Laundrie continues Wednesday as attention shifts to Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida.

Reality TV star Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman said he received a tip that the Laundrie family spent time at the park in early September. He is currently in the park with boats, ground teams and K-9 units.

Brian Laundrie's attorney confirmed that Brian and his parents camped in Fort De Soto days from September 6 to September 7, days after Laundrie returned home alone from his trip west with his fiancée Gabby Petito.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office told reporters that there is no official police investigation in Fort De Soto Park at this time.

Gabby Petito's parents held a press conference in New York Tuesday afternoon, their first time speaking publicly since their daughter's funeral took place on Sunday. The family expressed grief for their loss, but announced that they would "make some good from this awful tragedy" with the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation.

The conference came nine days after Petito's body was found in Wyoming and amid a continued manhunt for fiancé Brian Laundrie, who was named as a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Memorial for Gabby Petito
The search continues across Florida for Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of Gabby Petito who is listed as a "person of interest" in her disappearance. Above, members of the public leave flowers at a memorial site for Gabby Petito, September 26, 2021 in Blue Point, Long Island, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Private K-9 units join search for Brian Laundrie

Private K-9 units are on their way to a small Florida island to help Dog the Bounty Hunter search for Brian Laundrie, Fox News reports.

Private K-9 unit heading out to small island off Florida where Dog the Bounty Hunter got a tip about potential traces of Brian Laundriehttps://t.co/keVNUzVqSK pic.twitter.com/KE2uVR9xyY

— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 29, 2021

Lyssa Chapman, the daughter of Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, tweeted that her father has "called in the K-9s."

Chapman received his own tip about Laundrie's whereabouts and has launched his own investigation at Fort De Soto Park in Florida.

Utah businessman offers $50,000 reward to find Brian Laundrie

A Utah businessman set up a huge reward to find Brian Laundrie.

Sean Whalen is offering $50,000 for information that leads to Laundrie.

"It makes [me] physically ill to imagine my daughter crying out and her life being extinguished and I'm not there to help, and I have no answers," Whalen said in an Instagram post.

"I don't need to know her or her family to put up some money all I need to know is if it's my nightmare it's likely another father's nightmare," he added.

Cellphone Brian Laundrie's parents bought for their son now in FBI possession

Brian Laundrie's parents recently bought him a cellphone, his attorney confirms.

Steven Bertolino told reporters Laundrie left the phone at home the day he went for a hike in the reserve. He would not provide a specific date for when the phone was purchased.

He also confirmed that the FBI now has the phone.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino:
"To my knowledge they did purchase a new phone and it's the same phone that Brian left home and which the FBI is in possession of."

— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 29, 2021

Dog the Bounty Hunter searches for Brian Laundrie in Fort De Soto Park

Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman released a video on Twitter Wednesday detailing his search for Brian Laundrie in Fort De Soto Park.

He said his team "launched an active and specific search" in a "key area" of the park based on intelligence they received. His team is utilizing boat crews, ground teams and search and rescue dogs.

Chapman said the park is a "perfect place for [Laundrie] to hide" because there are "not too many people out here."

"The search is really on. The search has just begun," he said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office confirmed that surveillance video from the Fort De Soto Park campground was turned over to the FBI.

UPDATE: Video is from this morning — earlier today we launched an active and specific search in a key area based on the intelligence we are receiving and researching. Boat crews and ground teams have been called in and we have search and rescue dogs deployed. More to follow... pic.twitter.com/g2tq85JTZX

— Duane Dog Chapman (@DogBountyHunter) September 29, 2021

Flowers sent to Laundrie home for Gabby Petito memorial

A Texas woman sent flowers for Gabby Petito to Brian Laundrie's family home in North Port Florida.

Stephanie Savage from Houston told WFAA that she felt there needs to be a memorial at the Laundrie house.

"I was really dumbfounded how no one in the Tampa area had started one," Savage said.

Her flowers were delivered Monday and more arrived the following day, local news on the scene reported. Soon, #FlowersForGabby was trending on Twitter.

UPDATE —
Just got to the #Laundrie home and my photographer says at least 5 delivery drivers dropped of flowers off
👇🏻
According to a community service patrol officer — all flowers should be sent to #GabbyPetito’s memorial at city hall - not #BrianLaundrie’s house

— Shannon Clowe (@ShannonCwtsp) September 27, 2021

A community service aid with the North Port Police Department said all flowers had to be moved to the public memorial at city hall. The aide also said the flowers would be thrown away Monday night, WFFA reported.

"The Twitter followers started contacting North Port Police and telling them they had no right to do this," Savage said.

A police spokesperson said the aide misspoke.

In the case that there is a complaint on private property where people are placing items, police can step in accordance with the law, the spokesman said. But there were no complaints in this case.

Dog the Bounty Hunter arrives at Fort De Soto Park

Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman was spotted on the scene at Fort De Soto Park in Florida Wednesday afternoon.

Log into Facebook to start sharing and connecting with your friends, family, and people you know.

Video footage from Spectrum News shows Chapman arriving at the campground about an hour ago to search for Brian Laundrie. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said there was no investigation at the park, despite reports of police activity earlier this morning.

Chapman's daughter Lyssa Chapman tweeted Wednesday afternoon that her father is "on the hunt" for Laundrie. Minutes ago, she said her father is searching "on foot at a possible location."

Update: Dad is on foot at possible location. He’s searching the area. More updates as they become available.

— Lyssa Chapman (@BabyLyssaC) September 29, 2021

'You have blood on your hands' protestor shouts at Brian Laundrie's parents

A woman confronted Brian Laundrie's parents outside their North Port home, calling them "murderers" through a bullhorn and accusing them of aiding their son to cover up Gabby Petito's death and evade arrest.

"What were you thinking?" the woman shouted. "You guys have blood on your hands, too."

Protestors have frequently shown up at the Laundries house to demand they end their silence amid investigations into Gabby Petito's disappearance and homicide. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest in her death, though police have not yet found him in their nationwide manhunt.

"Shame on you," the woman shouted as the Laundries entered their house.

Reports of Brian Laundrie sightings near Appalachian Trail

Dog the Bounty Hunter and his team have turned their attentions to the Appalachian Trail, following reports of possible Brian Laundrie sighting in the area.

Lyssa Chapman, the daughter of Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, tweeted earlier this week that the team was looking for "experienced hiking/survivalists near the Appalachian Hiking trail in North Carolina."

She also encouraged hunters to check their game cameras and asked people to share Laundrie's photo with people living in the area who may not have television or internet.

Okay guys. Please RETWEET !! looking for experienced HIKING/SURVIVALIST near the Appalachian Hiking trail in North Carolina. I know these types rarely have social media. So do you have a family member or friend who fits in this description?

— Lyssa Chapman (@BabyLyssaC) September 26, 2021

There were multiple reports of Laundrie sightings in Watauga County, North Carolina.

"We were looking into these claims, but nothing has been verified," the Watauga County Sheriff's Office told WJZY.

Women who picked up Brian Laundrie says he was "agitated" when they neared his van

A woman said Brian Laundrie was "antsy" when she picked him up hitchhiking in Bridger-Teton Nation Forest two days after Gabby Petito was last seen.

Norma Jean Jalovec told PEOPLE there "was nothing extraordinary" about Laundrie when she picked him up. They talked about the hiking trails and the blogs he made with his fiancée, Petito.

However, she said he "got agitated" when she asked if he wanted her to pull up past the gate into the Spread Creek Disperes Camping Area on August 29 around 6:15 p.m.

They were nearing the location where Petito's body would be discovered weeks later.

"He was like, 'No, no, no, no, no. This is fine,'" she recalls. "He said, 'Just let me out here. You can let me out here.'"

Jalovec said Laundrie was "literally getting out of the passenger seat" as she pulled the car over.

She said Laundrie would have to walk several miles to his van from where she dropped him off and nightfall was approaching.

"I said, 'Oh, you don't want your fiancée to see you being dropped off out of an SUV. You want her to think you hiked all the way back,'" she said. "But now we all know, obviously there was a reason why he probably didn't want me to go down that road."

No police activity at Fort De Soto Park, sheriff's office says

There is currently no known police investigation at Fort De Soto Reserve, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says.

News Nation Now reporter Brian Entin said the only chopper activity over the park is a news helicopter.

He also shared images from WFLA's Eagle 8 news chopper, showing no police activity in the park.

This comes after country records confirm Brian Laundrie and his family camped in Fort De Soto between September 6 and September 8.

Chopper over the area saw no police activity. @8_plamison https://t.co/MArAN8kzoC pic.twitter.com/ITQB6SZAgJ

— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 29, 2021

Couple says they camped next to Laundrie family

A couple claims they camped next to the Laundrie family in Fort De Soto Park on September 6.

Marci and Kenny Newsom told WBBH they snapped a selfie with Chris and Roberta Laundrie. The man walking in the background is suspected to be Brian Laundrie.

"They kept to themselves," Marci Newsom told WBBH. "They were there and then they weren't."

They also said they have photos of the Laundrie's red truck.

"Very strange," Kenny Newsom told WBBH. "If someone I knew was missing, I wouldn't be going camping."

EXCLUSIVE: I spoke to the couple who camped right next to the Laundrie family in Fort De Soto Park in early September. We looked back on their photos from the trip with them at their home in Fort Myers tonight. You’ll hear the full story coming up at 11 @NBC2 @ABC7SWFL pic.twitter.com/cZBTp309oE

— Megan Myers (@MeganMyersNews) September 29, 2021

Coverage of Petito case helped find the remains of another missing person, police say

The Gabby Petito case helped close another missing person case in Wyoming, police say.

Robert Lowery, a 46-year-old father of two from Houston, went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 19 and was last seen the next day in Bridger-Teton National Forest, where Petito's body was found on September 19.

Remains matching Lowery's description were found near the Black Canyon Trail at the base of Teton Pass on Tuesday, KPRC-TV reported.

The national attention from the Petito case led to tips about Lowery's possible whereabouts, the Teton County Sheriff's Office said.

"The widespread news coverage of the Gabby Petito search helped bring light to Lowery's case, and resulted in at least two members of the public calling local authorities this past weekend with new information about his possible last seen point," the Teton County search and rescue team said in a statement.

Carlton Reserve search "scaled back" to water areas, local reporter says

The Carlton Reserves, where police have been searching for Brian Laundrie since last week, is reportedly much quieter Wednesday morning, according to local reports.

WTVT reporter Kim Kuizon said the activity outside the reserve had calmed down. She was told by officials that the search has been "scaled back" as the focus remains on areas of water.

The Carlton Reserve is quiet compared to past days. We are told a scaled back search continues and remains focused on areas of water @fox13news #brianlaundrie pic.twitter.com/ygfLbXL87C

— Kim Kuizon FOX 13 (@kkuizon) September 29, 2021

Family attorney confirms Brian Laundrie was at Fort Soto Park

The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, confirmed that Brian Laundrie and his parents Chirs and Roberta went camping at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida in early September.

Bertolino told WFLA the family camped at the park from September 6 to September 7 and all three left together.

This trip was a few days after Laundrie returned from his trip out west without Gabby Peito on September 1. Petito was reported missing on September 11.

Police have not yet confirmed if they will search this park.

JUST IN. #Laundrie family attorney confirms all three family members camped at Fort De Soto campground from September 6-7th and left park together. #BrianLaundrie #GabbyPetito (via @WFLAJustin) pic.twitter.com/bdvTzoBmlP

— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) September 28, 2021

READ MORE: "Brian Laundrie Was at Fort De Soto Campsite With Parents Before Going Missing"

Family Left Gabby's Body in Coroner's Care As to Not 'Impede' Investigation

Gabby Petito's body is still being held at the Teton County Coroner's Office despite her funeral taking place Sunday, said Jim Schmidt, her stepfather.

Schmidt said during the family's press conference Tuesday that they wanted to bring her home "as quickly as possible," but they also wanted to make sure that they didn't "impede" the investigation by bringing her home prematurely.

He added that the family knows that the body is safe "as long as she's with them."

Family Urges Others to Help All Missing People, Not Just Gabby

Gabby Petito's family urged others to dedicate the same time and effort to helping other missing people as they did for her.

Joe Petito, Gabby Petito's father, addressed the room of people who attended the family's press conference on Tuesday, saying that "it's on all of you" to do so.

"And if you don't do that for other people that are missing, that's a shame because it's not just Gabby that deserves that. So, look to yourselves on why that's not being done," he said.

Family Has Received Messages, Cards From All Over World

Gabby Petito's family has received letters, emails, cards and other messages from all over the world in light of her disappearance and death, said Richard Stafford, a lawyer for the Petito family.

He added that people traveled from far-away states to attend the funeral on Sunday, which took place in New York.

"We had people at the funeral that came from as far away as Texas, as Florida, as California, so people from all over the country have called and sent their well wishes," Stafford said.

Joe Petito Thanks Media for Aid in Bringing Gabby Home

Joe Petito, Gabby Petito's father, thanked the news media and social media for their aid in "bringing our daughter home" during the news conference Tuesday.

Speaking of the press, he said that "they don't get enough credit for what it is that they do." He also said that engagement with his daughter's case on social media "has been amazing."

"So, I'd just like to thank everyone for that. It is greatly appreciated. That was very helpful in bringing our daughter home," he said.

Family Displays Matching Tattoos in Honor of Gabby

Gabby Petito's family unveiled new matching tattoos they'd gotten in her honor during the Tuesday press conference in New York.

The tattoos bear the inscription "Let It Be" in script, and are located on the inner part of the family's arms.

Brian Laundrie's Parents Did Not Help Find Gabby, Won't Help Locate Son, Lawyer Says

Richard Stafford, a lawyer for the Petito family, said during a news conference Tuesday that the family of Brian Laundrie did not aid efforts to locate Gabby Petito and asserted that they would also not help law enforcement locate their son.

He said that the family was seeking justice for Gabby Petito's homicide, and asked Laundrie to turn himself in.

Family Starting Gabby Petito Foundation to Honor Her Memory

Gabby Petito's family is starting a foundation to honor her memory and "make some good from this awful tragedy," the family announced during a news conference Tuesday.

The organization is to be named the Gabby Petito Foundation, they said.