SHELL ISLAND, Flor. — After the remains of Gabrielle Petito were found earlier this September, her fiancé Brian Laundrie was wanted on an arrest warrant but disappeared. After weeks of searching, reality TV bounty hunter Duane Lee Chapman has joined the search.
In July, 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito and her 23-year-old fiancé Brian Laundrie left New York on a cross-country road trip. The two documented their travels together, but only Laundrie returned home to North Port Florida (NY Times).
Ten days after Laundrie had returned from their trip alone, Petito’s parents filed a missing person report.
Laundrie was last seen leaving home with his parents on September 14 to camp at a nature reserve near his parents’ house in Southwest Florida but then disappeared (Daily News).
Petito’s missing person case soon went viral on social media, which led one couple to reach out to the FBI concerning a tip for Petito’s whereabouts. The couple was at Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming around the same time as Petito and Laundrie. They showed the FBI a video where you can see the white van the couple were traveling in at the time (NY Times).
The police then searched the national forest, and on September 19, Petito’s body was found.
A federal court in Wyoming then issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie for “activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito” (Variety).
The police were into a two-week statewide manhunt for Laundrie in Florid. They had suspended local flights and were tracking down a burner phone Laundrie bought the day he disappeared (Barstool).
This is when Duane Lee Chapman, aka “Dog the Bounty Hunter” decided to join the search for Laundrie.
Chapman’s Instagram documents his search. He has employed the use of a boat crew, dog team, and outdoor experts in the effort to find Laundrie.
First, he wanted to reach out to the family but was unable to do so. Though the family has spoken through their lawyer Steven Bertolino, that they do not know their son’s whereabouts (Variety).
From there, Chapman caught Laundrie’s scent and tracked him to an island near Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida.
He then said they were getting close to Laundrie, as they discovered a campsite and fresh Monster can in the woods on Shell Island.
His latest post shows an airplane writer with a banner that reads “Aloha Brian Laundrie- Dog.” However, Chapman claims his team was not behind it.
On his Instagram, Chapman says to call 1-833-TELL-DOG or TIPS.FBI.GOV for any other information regarding the case. (Image courtesy of Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)