gabby petito

Cops Swarm Fla. Preserve as Manhunt for Indicted Gabby Petito Fiancé Intensifies

Police in North Port, Florida, return to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve once again Friday as they continue to hunt Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie, who has now been indicted on a fraud charge

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What to Know

  • A county coroner confirmed human remains found in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park are Gabby Petito and ruled her death a homicide. It's not yet clear how exactly she died; that's pending more analysis
  • The FBI's prime person of interest in Petito's disappearance, her fiancé Brian Laundrie, has been missing for more than a week since telling his family he was going for a hike in a Florida nature preserve
  • Cops returned to that swampy 25,000-acre area Friday for a fourth straight day as they continue their search for Laundrie, who has now been indicted by the FBI on a debit card fraud charge

Law enforcement officers and specialized dive teams returned to a Florida nature preserve for a fourth straight day Friday with renewed urgency in their hunt for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's fiancé who is now officially a wanted man by the FBI.

The federal arrest warrant unveiled a day ago does not implicate Laundrie in the death of Petito, whose case has been ruled a homicide, but it does ensure law enforcement has the power to hold him on some charge -- in this case one involving debit card fraud -- if they ever do find the 23-year-old man, now missing 10 days.

Laundrie hasn't been seen since last Tuesday, Sept. 14, when he told his family he was going to the sprawling Carlton Reserve for a hike.

Investigators searched for him there over the course of the weekend, temporarily suspended their operations Monday and got back on the ground Tuesday. Friday marks the latest day in the renewed search effort. Nothing has been found yet.

Local police said most of the day's search efforts in the reserve had wrapped up around 5 p.m. A department spokesperson confirmed that the search would continue into the weekend but acknowledged the manpower dedicated to finding Laundrie was pulling resources from other cases.

It's not clear how long investigators plan to keep looking for Laundrie in this particular area -- or where they might look for him next if they don't find him there.

Roughly 75 personnel from 16 different agencies were on the ground Thursday searching the 25,000-acre reserve, a swampy subtropical terrain replete with alligators, snakes, bobcats and other wildlife. There are more than 100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, plus multiple camping areas and rivers.

Drones were also sent to aid in Thursday's aerial quest to find Laundrie. All-terrain searches continued until dark, as has been the case the last few days.

Laundrie and Petito had set out in a white van in July on a cross-country trek visiting national parks. Laundrie returned to his Florida home in that van on Sept. 1.

He was alone.

It wasn't until 10 days later, on Sept. 11, that Petito's family grew concerned they hadn't heard from her in a few days and filed a missing persons report. As it turns out, her cellphone had been off for much longer -- since Aug. 27, records show.

Petito's remains were found in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park on Sunday. Her death was ruled a homicide, an autsopy found, though further forensic analysis is needed to determine exactly how she died.

A candlelight vigil will be held in the young woman's Long Island hometown on Friday night.

Federal and local law enforcement continue to ask the public for tips. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit

The search for Brian Laundrie, the fiance and person of interest in the death of Gabby Petito, is intensifying. Sarah Wallace reports.
Missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie left Long Island, New York, on July 2 for a months-long cross-country road trip, much of which they documented on social media. LX News host Tabitha Lipkin walks through the timeline of their trip based on Instagram posts, police video and other media.
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