3:46 PM PDT, September 23, 2021
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming has issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, according to the FBI’s Denver field office.
The FBI stated that “the warrant was issued pursuant to a Federal Grant Jury indictment for violation of federal state 18 U.S.C. 1020 (a)(1): related to “use of unauthorized access devices” related to Mr. Laundrie’s activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“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,” FBI Denver Special Agent Michael Schneider said.
He continued: “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI. No piece of information is too small or inconsequential to support our efforts in this investigation.”
The FBI also asked requested that anyone who utilized the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between the dates of August 27-30, 2021, and may have had contact with Petito or Laundrie, or may have seen their vehicle, to contact them.
Thursday marks Day 10 for the 23-year-old Laundrie, one of the most wanted man in America, who has been named “a person of interest” in the homicide investigation of his fiancée, Gabby Petito.
Although Laundrie has not been named a suspect, law enforcement officials are continuing to search for him in the dense, rugged swampy gator and snake-infested wetlands of the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, according to reports.
Early Thursday, video footage shows heavy equipment arriving at the site to assist search crews and officials on swamp buggies, as determined teams work tirelessly to help locate the man who once referred to Petito as “the love of his life.”
“We deployed numerous resources and we are going to cover every acre in this preserve,” Commander Joe Fussell told NBC.
Seventy-five percent of the area crews are searching is underwater, the media outlet reported.
On Wednesday night, law enforcement officials told 10 Tampa Bay News that crews were flying overnight, using thermal imaging in hopes of spotting any sign of Laundrie, Fox News reported.
Some of the technology being used is known as FLIR, “Forward Looking Infrared,” and is typically used on military and civilian aircraft. It creates an infrared image of a scene without having to “scan” the scene with a moving sensor, which was previously required. Global manufacturer Teledyne FLIR refers to this technology as “the world’s sixth sense.”
Officials said this technology could be critical in the search for Laundrie, Fox News reported.
Earlier in the day, divers were brought in searching the massive wetlands.
Additional agencies assisting the North Port Police and FBI include the Florida Wildlife Commission, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department, K9 search and rescue teams.
Laundrie was last seen on Sept. 14, when he left his North Port Florida home wearing a backpack located on Wabasso Avenue, which he once shared with Petito and his parents.
Laundrie’s parents, Chris, 62, and Robert, 55, reportedly told officials that their son had gone on a hike and that was the last time they had spoken to him.
A weekend ground and aerial search on Monday of the massive preserve had yet to yield any answers, and authorities from the North Port Police department stated, “we must press on.”
On Sept. 19, Petito’s remains were found in a remote area of Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest campsite and confirmed late Tuesday by the Teton County Coroner and the FBI to be hers, who they say died by homicide, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.
On Tuesday the hunt for Laundrie included drones, canine units, ATVs. Officials said they were moving in from the Venice side of the area, along with adjoining lands, at the Carlton Reserve, in an area described as a “vast and unforgiving location at times.”
“It is currently waste deep in 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,” North Port Police said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a grainy photo of a man with a backpack and neck tattoo captured on a deer-trail camera near Baker that resembled Laundrie went viral and was shared more than 45,000 times on social media, Fox13 News reported.
Deputies from Okaslooa County (OCSO) confirmed that it was a case of “mistaken identity.” Several of the officers recognized the man in the photo. His identity was not revealed; however, they said he was a private citizen, the OCSO Department said in a statement.
“During its search and investigation, the OCSO found no indications that Brian Laundrie is, or was, in Okaloosa County,” the department said.
If you were in the vicinity of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, as identified in the map, during the timeframe of August 27-30, 2021, and saw Ms. Petito, her boyfriend, or Petito’s van, please provide that information to the FBI. Relevant information may be submitted to the FBI online at tips.fbi.gov, or by phone to 1-800-CALL-FBI or 303-629-7171. Photos and videos may be uploaded via the FBI’s digital media tipline dedicated to this case: fbi.gov/petito. You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.