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Brian Laundrie And His Parents Went Camping After His Return To Florida, Family Attorney Says
The Laundrie family attorney confirmed their stay at the Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County after claims made by reality TV bounty hunter Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman alleging that's when Brian may have gone on the run.
Brian Laundrie stayed with his parents at a Florida campground 75 miles from their home, just days before he apparently disappeared.
The family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, confirmed the family's stay at the Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8 after reality TV bounty hunter Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman alleged Brian went on the run after his parents left the campsite without him.
“Three people came in on the 6th and two people left on the 8th,” Chapman told Fox News of the tip he received. “I think he’s been here for sure.”
While confirming the “family camped from 09-06 to 09-07,” Bertolino insisted in a statement to The New York Post that “they all left the park together.”
Records from the campsite obtained by Fox News also show the family arriving on Sept. 6 and checking out on Sept. 8.
Brian’s parents have said he disappeared on Sept. 14 after telling them that he planned to hike at Sarasota County’s 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve—although they didn’t report him missing to authorities until three days later.
Investigators have scoured the swampy reserve not far from the Laundrie home for days, but have found no sign of the missing 23-year-old.
Chapman has suggested that Brian may have disappeared from another location all together, pointing toward geography around Fort De Soto Park. He said the area is surrounded by tiny islands and believes it's possible Brian could have used a canoe to get to one of the nearby islands.
The family’s camping trip provides new details about Brian’s activities after police said he returned to Florida, without girlfriend Gabby Petito, on Sept. 1. The couple had been traveling across the country in a converted camper van to visit the nation’s parks when Petito disappeared in late August.
Her mother formally reported her missing on Sept. 11, after she had been unable to reach the 22-year-old for days.
According to the FBI, Petito’s body was discovered Sept. 19 in the Grand National Teton Park in Wyoming—where she had been staying with Brian before she disappeared. They believe she was likely killed at the end of August.
On Tuesday, Chapman questioned why Brian and his parents would have gone camping together in Pinellas County when they knew Petito was already missing, Fox News reports.
While Brian’s parents Chris and Roberta have faced increasing scrutiny that they may know where their missing son is, their attorney issued a statement earlier this week insisting that was not the case.
“They’re concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” he said, according to News 12 Bronx. “The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is jut plain wrong.”
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Brian on Sept. 22, alleging the unauthorized use of a credit card.
In a press conference Tuesday, Petito’s family said they are not expecting Chris and Roberta to cooperate in the search to find Brian.
"The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They sure aren’t going to help us find Brian," attorney Richard Stafford said according to local station WTVT. "For Brian, we are asking you to turn yourself in."
Anyone with information about Brian Laundrie's whereabouts is urged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
"The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media" will air on Oxygen on Monday, January 24 at 9/8c. It's also available to stream on Peacock now.