The boyfriend described as a “person of interest” after the disappearance of his longtime girlfriend as they traveled cross-country last month is now missing too, Florida authorities said Saturday.
The manhunt for Brian Laundrie, 23, focused on the 25,565-acre Carlton Reserve, a sprawling park in Sarasota Court, Fla., with roughly 50 law enforcers involved, said the North Port Police Department.
Laundrie has refused to speak with frustrated investigators since he returned home earlier this month without Gabby Petito, 22, who lived with him and his parents.
Police said via Twitter that family members, in a Friday call to FBI investigators, reported Laundrie entered the massive Sunshine State reserve this past Tuesday. No explanation was given for the family’s delay in contacting the federal agents.
“It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime,” the Florida police said. “We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working multiple missing person investigations.”
According to police, the Friday call marked the first time that the Laundrie family has “spoken with investigators in detail” since their son returned home alone on Sept. 1, with the young man declining to even meet with police who visited his parents’ residence.
The Petito family filed a missing person report with police in Suffolk County, L.l., 10 days later, and pleaded for Laundrie to tell police whatever he knew about Gabby’s disappearance.
Petito, originally from Long Island, was traveling cross-county with Laundrie inside her converted van when she vanished at some point after the couple fought while driving through Utah on Aug. 12.