NORTH PORT, Fla. - After seven days of searching a 25,000-acre wildlife reserve for Brian Laundrie, officers from the North Port Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation don’t seem any closer to bringing in their person of interest in the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito.
Tracking Brian has proven to be difficult, but law enforcement says they are not deterred.
"We are working as hard to find him now as we did on day one," said North Port PD Cmdr. Joe Fussell. "That is really what is carrying us through. Is the drive to try to find Brian and try to put closure to this investigation."
The Laundrie family’s lawyer said that, before Brian went into the swamp at Carlton Reserve, his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, were worried he could hurt himself. The lawyer revealed on Friday that Brian’s parents say he did not take his phone when he left last Tuesday, September 14.
Crews said they would resume the search Saturday, having already combed the whole north side and much of the Venice side of the reserve.
"We are not wasting our time out here. We are doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that intelligence had led us that he could possibly be in," Fussell explained.
Funeral planned for Gabby Petito
As the search for Brian wrapped up Friday, those who knew Gabby prepared to say goodbye during a funeral service planned for Sunday.
Friend Noreen Gibbons said Brian and Gabby planned to end their cross-country trip at her home in Oregon, but they never made it.
"The last text she sent me was of her van life video," Gibbons said.
A vigil was held Friday in Gabby's honor on Long Island. Noreen stopped by to feel closer to the young lady who was like a granddaughter to her.
"What you see is what you get. She radiated life and love," Gibbons said.
False alarm at the Laundrie home
Meanwhile, Friday night at the Laundrie home, dozens of officers arrived with their lights flashing. They surrounded the house before knocking on the door and checking the perimeter.
News crews already on the scene heard officers double-check the address where a 911 call was placed, reporting shots had been fired. Soon after, North Port PD confirmed the call was a false alarm.
Whoever filed that report will be under investigation and could face charges, police said. Two officers were standing watch near the home Friday night, just to be safe.
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