Brian Laundrie manhunt: Tipster sends Dog the Bounty Hunter to Florida campground 75 miles from family home

Posted 66 days ago


EXCLUSIVE: Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman is investigating a tip that alleges Brian Laundrie, the fugitive fiancé of Gabby Petito, went into a Florida campground 75 miles away with his parents in early September — but only two of them were seen leaving.

Chapman announced Saturday he was entering the search for Laundrie, and tips quickly poured in. He told Fox News he received a tip on Monday that Laundrie’s parents spent the night in Fort De Soto Park with their son twice in early September from Sept. 1-3 and Sept. 6-8.

"They were registered, went through the gate. They’re on camera. They were here," he told Fox News exclusively on Monday evening. "We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp."

He later added: "Allegedly, what we’re hearing, is two people left on the 8th. Three people came in on the 6th, and two people left on the 8th. I think he’s been here for sure."

Earlier on Monday, attorney Steven Bertolino, who represents Brian's parents, Chris and Roberta, said his clients "do not know where Brian is."

"They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him," Bertolino wrote. "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."

A Fox News Digital reporter overheard a park worker say investigators had checked surveillance video on the grounds.

Conditions within park are "much easier" than some others, namely the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve, where local police and sheriff’s deputies have spent days combing through the dense, swampy terrain, Chapman told Fox News.

Fort De Soto Park is located in Pinellas County and is about 75 miles away from the Laundries’ home on Wabasso Avenue. It spans more than 1,130 acres and consists of five keys.

The tip gives renewed hope that authorities might soon reach a conclusion to what has become a costly weeks-long search for Laundrie and a quest for answers that has extended from coast to coast. The exhaustive manhunt that has extended nationwide and garnered massive attention.

Laundrie and 22-year-old Petito embarked on a cross-country journey in mid-June in a converted white Ford Transit van with the plan to visit national parks along the way. They had begun dating years earlier after meeting at their local Long Island, N. Y. high school and had moved to North Port, Florida, to live with Laundrie’s parents.

On Sept. 1, months after they began their trip, Laundrie returned to the North Port hom... (Read more)