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Brian Laundrie’s parents don’t know where their missing son is two weeks after he disappeared, and are “concerned” about him, according to the family’s attorney.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie don’t know where Brian is,” attorney Steve Bertolino said in a statement to People. “They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”
Bertolino went on to dismiss rumors that couple may have helped their son—who has been named a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance—go on the run.
“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 just wrong,” he said.
Brian’s parents reported him missing on Sept. 17, three days after he went for a hike in Sarasota County’s 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve and never returned, they told authorities.
For more than a week, law enforcement have scoured the “vast and unforgiving location” for signs of the missing 23-year-old, but North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told Oxygen.com Monday that the search will now likely be scaled back in the days ahead.
“I don’t think you’re going to see those large scale types of efforts this week,” he said. “The FBI is now leading the search. I’m told, it will be scaled back and targeted based on intelligence. Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access.”
The search has been complicated by the challenging terrain, including waist-deep water in many areas.
“This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through gator and snake infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails,” police said in a statement last week.
Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito’s death, after authorities discovered her body in the Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19, according to the FBI. A medical examiner has determined that Petito died of a homicide.
She disappeared at the end of August during a cross-country road trip with Laundrie to visit the nation’s national parks. He returned to Florida, alone, in Petito's van on Sept. 1 and refused to cooperate with authorities about his missing girlfriend before he disappeared himself.
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on Wednesday, alleging an unauthorized use of credit cards after Petito’s death.
Anyone with information about his current 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.
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