'Dog the Bounty Hunter' joins the search for Brian Laundrie
NORTH PORT, Fla. - Television's Dog the Bounty Hunter is joining the search for Brian Laundrie, the only person wanted in connection with Gabby Petito's disappearance. Saturday afternoon, the reality star was seen banging on the screen door of the North Port home Brian shares with his parents.
The family did not answer and Duane "Dog" Chapman, along with his wife, left the home after a few minutes. Police were seen shortly afterward entering the Laundrie home and exiting within moments.
Chapman was already in Florida on a honeymoon with his wife Francie, he told FOX News, when people began reaching out to him to look into Laundrie’s disappearance.
"We had a lot of requests that I get in on this," he said. "This is what I do for a living, for 45 years."
Chapman, is a father of 13 and lost a daughter around the same age as Gabby Petito in a car accident in 2006.
"I know what the victims feel like," he added.
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Search continues at preserve
After seven days of searching a 25,000-acre wildlife reserve for Brian Laundrie, officers from the North Port Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation don’t seem any closer to bringing in their person of interest in the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito.
Tracking Brian has proven to be difficult, but law enforcement says they are not deterred.
"We are working as hard to find him now as we did on day one," said North Port PD Cmdr. Joe Fussell. "That is really what is carrying us through. Is the drive to try to find Brian and try to put closure to this investigation."
The Laundrie family’s lawyer said that, before Brian went into the swamp at Carlton Reserve, his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, were worried he could hurt himself. The lawyer revealed on Friday that Brian’s parents say he did not take his phone when he left last Tuesday, September 14.
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Dog and Francie are currently searching the community where Brian Laundrie was last seen, but the preserve is closed to all but law enforcement.
Crews continued searching Saturday, having already combed the whole north side and much of the Venice side of the reserve.
"We are not wasting our time out here. We are doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that intelligence had led us that he could possibly be in," Fussell explained Friday.
The search was expected to resume Sunday.
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