Gabby Petito: Brian Laundrie’s search for Florida swamp nature reserve enters week two

The search for the Carlton reserve will resume on Saturday, officials said.

A scuba diving team from the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office that is “called in to search for evidence of crimes and victims of drowning, water accidents and criminal acts” was also brought in mid-week, according to the sheriff’s office.

“We are looking through wooded areas, we are looking through bodies of water, we are looking through swampy areas,” North Point Police Commander Joe Fussell said in a video shared online Friday. “And we are deploying the resources to be able to do that. We have air units, we have drones, we have swamp buggies, airboats, several law enforcement agencies, we have ATVs, we have UTVs. and we have standing officers too. ”

Petito, 22, and Laundrie embarked on a trip across the country in June and were visiting national parks. They regularly posted their trips online using the hashtag #VanLife, but those posts came to a screeching halt in late August.

Laundrie returned home with her van on September 1. Petito was reported missing on September 11 after her family could not contact her. She was found dead eight days later near a campground in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming.

According to an arrest warrant issued Thursday, Laundrie is wanted for the alleged use of “unauthorized devices” in the period following Petito’s death.

The mandate “doesn’t change anything for us,” Fussell said. “We’re working as hard to find it now as we did on day one.”

Conditions are tough with murky water, muddy roads and thick vegetation, according to videos shared by North Port Police. “Rough is an understatement,” Taylor said Thursday of conditions on the reserve.

He said efforts on Saturday and Sunday would focus on “the most likely areas.”

Another person says they hitchhiked in Laundrie in August

With law enforcement roaming the reservation, more and more stories of interactions involving Laundrie prior to his return to Florida are emerging.

Norma Jean Jalovec, a seasonal resident of Wyoming, told CNN that she picked up Laundrie not far from the Jackson Lake Dam on Aug. 29, around 6:15 p.m., and drove him to the scattered Spread Creek campground where Gabby Petito’s remains were later found.

Laundrie was hitchhiking, Jalovec said, and sat in the passenger seat of his Toyota 4-Runner SUV.

According to Jalovec, Laundrie told him that he and his fiancée had a travel blog, that she was in their van at the campsite working on the blog, and that he had been walking along the shore of the Snake River for the past few years. days.

Jalovec said when they arrived at Spread Creek, she dropped Laundrie off at the gate at the entrance to the camping area. She said she had offered to take him further afield once or twice, but he insisted that he be dropped off at the entrance.

The laundromat then offered her money for gasoline, but she refused, she said.

Jalovec said that as soon as she saw a series of videos posted on TikTok by Miranda Baker, who said she picked up Laundrie while hitchhiking and dropped him off at the Jackson Lake Dam, she had called the FBI and shared all the information she had.

Baker had said she dropped Laundrie off near the dam at 6:09 p.m. and Jalovec said she picked him up a few minutes later.

“I’m glad I was able to help with the investigation that placed him at Spread Creek at a specific time on August 29,” Jalovec told CNN.

CNN has not been able to independently verify Baker’s claims. North Port Police confirmed to CNN that Baker spoke with the department before posting the videos to TikTok.

$ 30,000 in rewards offered for tips

As Laundrie’s search spans its second week, two separate awards totaling $ 30,000 have been offered to anyone who provides law enforcement officials with Laundrie’s whereabouts.

Boohoff Law, a personal injury law firm, said in a statement posted on its website that it was offering a reward of $ 20,000 to be “paid once the body responsible for enforcing the law. law will have provided “the cabinet with” written verification that a tip helped locate “Laundrie.

The law firm, which has multiple offices in Florida, including North Port, said its award “will remain open for two months from receipt of the tip” by law enforcement.

Meanwhile, a second award was offered by Jerry Torres, who said in a tweet on Wednesday he was a neighbor of the Petito family. Torres wrote that he and his daughter “offer our deepest condolences to Gabby Petito’s family,” adding: “We are offering a reward of $ 5,000 for tips leading to an arrest.”
Torres said on Friday the reward he offers had been raised to $ 10,000, thanks in part to the help of people like Steve Moyer, the former Deputy Police Chief of Sarasota, Fla.

“Money gets people talking,” Moyer told CNN affiliate WZVN on Friday.

Remember Gabby

Petito’s disappearance and subsequent search for Laundrie sparked a wave of national interest and increased attention to other people missing in the United States.
Since Petito’s discovery, vigils have been held from Salt Lake City to the east coast.
These missing black families are frustrated by the lack of response to their cases

On Friday, residents of Blue Point, New York – Petito’s hometown on Long Island – lit candles at a memorial to show their support for his family.

The organizers of “Light the Night For Gabby Petito” hope similar protests spread beyond Long Island, according to CNN affiliate WABC.

Candles were provided along with a request for a $ 20 donation with the proceeds going to the Petito family, WABC said.

A candle-lighting and butterfly-releasing memorial is scheduled for Saturday night in North Port outside its town hall, according to The Daily Sun.

A Petito memorial visit is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Holbrook on Long Island, according to Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home. It will be open to the public.

Richard Stafford, an attorney for Petito’s family, confirmed in a statement on Friday that his funeral would take place on Sunday, adding that the family had asked for donations to be made to the future Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of flowers.

CNN’s Randi Kaye, Leyla Santiago, Dakin Andone, Steve Almasy, Kate Conerly, Christina Maxouris, Rebekah Riess, Gregory Lemos and Sara Weisfeldt contributed to this report.

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