In their search for Brian Laundrie, police reportedly discovered a “fresh campsite” in Carlton Reserve.
Investigators found what seemed to be a recently used campground as well as traces of human activity in the sprawling nature reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, where Laundrie’s parents said he was headed when they last saw him in mid-September, a source close to the Laundrie family told CNN’s, Chris Cuomo.
Meanwhile, investigators in North Carolina are also looking into many reported sightings of the 23-year-old, according to a report.
As previously reported by WFLA, Brian’s father, Chris Laundrie, was asked to assist North Port Police with the reserve search, which was closed to the public during the inquiry. According to several accounts, police told Chris Laundrie that his participation would have to be postponed due to the discovery of the campground; however, investigators have not confirmed this claim.
Steve Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, revealed that the fugitive’s father, Christopher, would be joining the search.
He told Fox News: “Chris Laundrie was asked to assist law enforcement in their search for Brian at the preserve today.
“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.”
The North Port Police Department then denied requesting the father’s assistance, but Steven Bertolino maintained that “law enforcement” needs the family’s assistance and suggested that the request may have come from the FBI.
Josh Taylor said his team didn’t ask for Christopher’s involvement, and police didn’t “postpone” it.
Josh Taylor of the North Port Police Department told Fox News, “In no world would we be the agency asking the family to help search in an FBI-led investigation.”
On Sept. 17, Laundrie was reported missing, just days after telling his parents he was going for a hike in the reserve, per The Sun.
According to a redacted vehicle report, the fugitive’s Ford Mustang was discovered 16 miles away from the site.
The car was found at Florida’s Myakkahatchee Environmental Park, according to papers.
Early Saturday, Oct. 2, a Florida engineer hiking along the Appalachian Trail insists he chatted with Brian Laundrie on a deserted road near the Appalachian Trail on the North Carolina border.
He told Fox News that he thought the man was on drugs at first but later realized he was “mentally shot,” and rambled about a fight with his girlfriend.
“He said ‘Man, I’m lost.’ I said ‘What are you trying to find?’ and he said ‘Me and my girlfriend got in a fight but she called me, told me she loves me, and I have to get to California to see her,'” Davis recalled.
“He was worried and not making sense,” he added.
In the case of the slain 22-year-old Gabby Petito, Laundrie is the only person of interest. On Sept. 1, he had come home early without Petito from the couple’s cross-country trip.
Petito went missing on Sept. 11 and was found dead on Sept. 19 at a remote campsite in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, with a coroner finally declaring her death a homicide.