One week after FBI and local police said, “we aren’t wasting our time” searching for Brian Laundrie in the vast Florida wilderness, Duane Chapman, commonly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, reportedly discovered a fresh campsite that he believes could be linked to the fugitive. Laundrie is a person of interest in the murder of social media influencer Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered in Wyoming earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Fox News was with Chapman when he found a campsite and fresh Monster can while searching for Laundrie deep in the wilderness of Shell Island off the Florida coast.
Fox reported that the can had no rust or faded colors, but there was no conclusive evidence of Laundrie’s presence on the island.
“We’re here at the island. This would be and could be the perfect spot for him to hide. Not too many people out here but there’s a lot of environmental things that we’re going to fight,” Chapman said in a video posted on Twitter. “So here we go. The search now is really on. The search has just begun.”
On Friday, law enforcement involved in the investigation said they are taking a more data-driven approach to the manhunt, the New York Post reported.
“We’re not wasting our time out here, we are doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that intelligence led us to, which he could possibly be in,” North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell said in defense of law enforcement’s thus-far fruitless search. “There are many, many more resources we’re deploying other than the search effort.”
“We need to search this area as best as we can, as massive as it is, with the resources we have, to try to find Brian,” Fussell added.
Laundrie’s parents reported their son missing in the days following the death of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, who’s body was discovered in Wyoming. An autopsy later determined the young woman’s death was a homicide.
His parents told police Laundrie was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota when he disappeared. Law enforcement combed the reserve with drones, swamp buggies, airboats and ATVS, but did not locate Laundrie.
An arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie last week on federal fraud charges. He is accused of using Petito’s bank card. Laundrie has not been charged in Petito’s death.
“The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” the FBI in Denver said in a statement last week. “Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”