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The Independent (United Kingdom)

Gabby Petito news – latest: Brian Laundrie search into sixth day as witnesses describe ‘aggressive’ encounter

Maroosha Muzaffar,Chiara Giordano,Celine Wadhera,Oliver O'Connell,Graeme Massie and Sam Hancock

The exhaustive search for Gabby Petito’s fiance, which is predominantly taking place in a vast Florida wilderness, entered its sixth day this morning.

A team of divers joined police and FBI agents using boats and helicopters looking for Brian Laundrie, 23, in the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve on Wednesday, but a spokesman said at nightfall that they had found “nothing” to show for their efforts, according to Reuters.

Authorities have not said why they are convinced Laundrie, who police call a “person of interest” in the case, may still be somewhere inside the more than 24,000-acre preserve near his home in North Port, Florida, more than a week after he told family members he was headed there to hike alone.

Gabby Petito and fiancé Brian Laundrie - © YouTube Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 9.32.47 AM

North Port police say Laundrie’s parents did not report him missing until 14 September, three days after the family last saw him. The Carlton Reserve has more than 80 miles (128 km) of hiking trails but is dominated by swampy water.

Also on Wednesday, a witness came forward to describe a stand-up argument between Laundrie and a waitress at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, around the time Ms Petito is believed to have sent her final text to her mother.

Nina Celie Angelo told Fox News she saw Mr Laundrie arguing with several female staff at Tex-Mex restaurant Merry Piglets between 1pm and 2pm on 27 August.

If confirmed, it would be one of the last sightings of Ms Petito alive.

Key points

  • Search for Laundrie enters sixth day...

  • ...and here are some images of the ongoing mission

  • Witness says ‘aggressive’ Laundrie argued with waiters on last sighting with Petito

  • Pleas for missing Lauren Cho to get ‘Petito coverage' after she vanishes

  • Neighbours claim Laundries went camping when son returned from trip with Petito

  • FBI call for public to help search for Laundrie

Quoted in this piece, "

Tuesday 21 September 2021 09:12 , Sam Hancock

‘Possible’ Laundrie has fled US, says private investigator Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:50 , Sam HancockA private investigator has said it is possible that Brian Laundrie could have fled the US, a report suggests. Mr Laundrie was named a person of interest in Ms Petito’s missing-person case after he returned from a cross-country road trip on 1 September without her. Remains consistent with the description of her were found over the weekend in Grand Teton National Park, according to the FBI. Police have not charged Mr Laundrie with a crime but say they have “exhausted all avenues” searching for him in Florida’s Carlton Reserve. Harvey Morse, a private investigator with Florida’s Locaters International Inc., told Insider that it would be easy for Mr Laundrie to evade detection by wearing a face mask. Mr Morse, who has more than 50 years of experience, said it was harder than ever for police to identify missing persons because the pandemic has made it common for people to wear face coverings in public. “It would be easy for him to get on a plane,” Mr Morse said. According to Mr Morse, police are likely considering two scenarios while searching for Mr Laundrie: that he is in hiding or that he will attempt suicide. Mr Morse added the chances of Mr Laundrie attempting suicide were “above average”. Officials continue to search for Mr Laundrie, but police said he could be dangerous to himself or those around him. Mr Morse advised that if someone came into contact with Mr Laundrie, they should not interact with him and instead take a photo or video of him discreetly before calling police. “I hope that this person is found and, if he is the perpetrator, he pleads guilty and doesn’t draw this case out, which would cause so much pain for so many people,” the PI told the news website.

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