Police continue search for Brian Laundrie
Police resumed their search of the Carlton Reserve on Saturday morning, marking the eighth straight day in the hunt Brian Laundrie, a spokesperson said. Although the major part of the search ended on Friday evening, over the weekend investigative crews will focus on “areas of more likelihood”.
On Thursday night, the FBI announced that a federal arrest warrant had been issued in relation to the death of Ms Petito.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms Petito’s homicide,” said Special Agent in charge Michael Schneider.
“We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”
Authorities have not said why they are convinced Mr Laundrie, who police call a “person of interest” in the case, may still be somewhere inside the more than 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his home in North Port, Florida, more than a week after he told family members he was headed there to hike alone. The Carlton Reserve has more than 80 miles (128 km) of hiking trails but is dominated by swampy water.
Meanwhile, Gabby Petito’s family announced that a memorial visitation open to the public would be held at a funeral home in Holbrook, New York this Sunday.
Earilier this week, 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.
If confirmed, it would be one of the last sightings of Ms Petito alive.
Gabby Petito Foundation will provide help to families with missing loved ones
Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, announced the formation of the Gabby Petito Foundation ahead of her memorial services on Sunday.
He said the foundation would be used to provide resources and guidance for the families of missing people.
“No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby,” he said in a tweet.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 14:22
California news anchor suspended after dispute over Petito coverage, report says
Frank Somerville, an anchor for the California-based KTVU, has been suspended after a disagreement with the network about Gabby Petito coverage, the Mercury News reports.
From the newspaper’s report on Mr Somerville, who is the father of an adopted Black teenager girl:
KTVU was prepared to air a news report detailing the latest developments in the case. Somerville wanted to add a brief tagline at the end of the report that questioned the extraordinary level of media coverage devoted to the story. Sources said he wanted to point out that the U.S. media often disproportionately covers tragedies involving young White women, while largely ignoring similar cases involving women of color and Indigenous people.
David Taintor26 September 2021 13:57
Scenes from Gabby Petito vigil in Florida
A sizable crowd turned out for a vigil for Gabby Petito on Saturday evening in North Port, Florida, where Brian Laundrie’s family lives. Local reporter Brian Entin captured the scene. Funeral services are set to be held on New York’s Long Island, where Ms Petito is from. Our Bevan Hurley will be reporting live from the funeral services today.
David Taintor26 September 2021 13:13
Warm sunshine and clear skies are forecast for Long Island on Sunday, where a memorial service is being held for Gabby Petito.
Ms Petito’s father Joe invited members of the public to a memorial visitation at the Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook between 12pm and 5pm.
Ms Petito’s family have asked that donations be made to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of flowers.
The forecast is for sunny conditions all day with a high of 73F (23C).
David Taintor25 September 2021 22:47
Staff at a Utah motel where Brian Laundrie stayed after a domestic violent incident with girlfriend Gabby Petito on 12 August are reportedly assisting the authorities with their investigation into the missing man.
The Sun reported that Mr Laundrie spent the night at the Bowen Motel in Moab after police separated he and Ms Petito.
Staff at the $78-a-night motel said they had been co-operating with police, who are conducting a nationwide search for Mr Laundrie after he disappeared from his Florida home last week.
Bodycam footage captured Mr Laundrie telling officers he could not afford a hotel room for the night, and he was assisted by a local domestic violence charity.
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 22:33
Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman showed up at the North Port home of Christopher and Roberta Laundrie on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Chapman arrived in a 4WD vehicle shortly before 4:30pm and knocked on the front door of the house. No one answered the door.
He walked around the property briefly before getting back in his vehicle, declining to speak to media as he left.
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 21:36
Dog the Bounty Hunter has announced he is joining the search for Brian Laundrie.
The reality TV personality, whose real name is Duane Chapman, said he his wife Francie Frane are currently searching in the Carlton Reserve in Florida where Mr Laundrie told family he was going hiking last week.
“Dog and Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves,” his team said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family for what they’re going through and want to help bring justice for her death.”
Mr Chapman is calling for anyone with tips on Mr Laundrie’s whereabouts to contact him and said that “all information will be kept confidential.”
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 20:31
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are claiming Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are “crisis actors” and coverage of the case is a distraction from the failures of President Joe Biden.
The bizarre theory is being spread across encrypted messaging apps and social media channels including Twitter, TikTok and Facebook, where users are claiming Ms Petito’s homicide is meant to divert attention from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan or the bogus Arizona election audit.
“The FBI is clearly coordinating with (mainstream media) to put on over the top theatrics in what is a run of the mill investigation in hopes that the public will forget about all the FBI’s scandals and be fooled in thinking that they actually fight crime,” one QAnon believer wrote on Telegram, according to the Daily Dot.
QAnon is a complex and wide-ranging conspiracy theory that asserts that Donald Trump and his allies are on a secret mission to save the world from a cabal of celebrities and Democratic politicians who are involved in various crimes against children.
Tragic incidents such as the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 and 2018’s Parkland school shooting have also been the target of false claims that they were somehow staged.
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 20:09
A former Utah police chief is defending the actions of the Moab police officers who pulled over Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito in the town on 12 August.
A witness called 911 to say he had seen Mr Laundrie hitting and slapping Ms Petito in Moab, two weeks before she disappeared.
The officers separated the couple for the night, but did not press charges after the couple claimed Ms Petito had instigated the altercation.
On Thursday, Moab Police Department announced it was investigating how the officers handled the incident, which was captured on their body-worn cameras.
Former chief Jim Winder told KSLTV he thought the officers did an “excellent job”.
“They treated them with dignity, respect and compassion,” Mr Winder, who left the job in 2019, said.
“People ascribing particular psychological traits to Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito from a video, indicating that had one path been taken versus another… had they arrested someone, no one would have ever died.
“These are interesting topics of conversation but they’re not real,” he added.
911 caller saw Brian Laundrie hitting girlfriend Gabby Petito
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 18:17
Several moving trucks were spotted on the street where Brian Laundrie’s parents live in North Port, Florida, on Saturday morning.
Brian Entin, a NewsNation reporter, shot down claims that the trucks were at the Laundrie home.
Bevan Hurley25 September 2021 17:02