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Brian Laundrie manhunt: FBI briefly explores camper while collecting items to use in search, attorney says

North Port, Fla. – Two FBI agents arrived at the North Port, Florida home of Brian Laundrie and his parents on Thursday afternoon, where they stayed for approximately 30 minutes and briefly explored the camper in the driveway before leaving with a bag.

The agents, a man and a woman, arrived at the Laundries’ home at about 1:15 p.m. in a black, unmarked vehicle and carried a large paper bag to the front door. One of the agents later walked over to the camper, which is designed to be towed by another vehicle, opened the door and reached inside. They did not answer any questions as they left approximately a half-hour later with a camouflage bag.

After the agents’ departure, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino released a statement in which he wrote: “The FBI is at the Laundrie home today to collect some personal items belonging to Brian that will assist the canines in their search for Brian.  There is nothing more to this.”


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An FBI spokesperson had no comment on the ongoing investigation, other than to say the agency does not “provide specifics about the focus or scope of investigation, or where investigators are located.” 

The camper has been at the center of questions surrounding the Laundries’ whereabouts after Brian Laundrie returned home alone on Sept. 1 in the converted van he and his fiancée, Gabby Petito, had been using.

Laundrie and 22-year-old Petito embarked on a cross-country journey in mid-June in the 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. 


The young woman was not reported missing until 10 days after Laundrie returned, on Sept. 11, when her mother filed a police report in Suffolk County, N.Y. Police seized the van from the Laundries’ home that same day. 

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Laundrie would not cooperate with the police investigation after the Petito’s missing persons’ report was filed, officials said. The Laundries’ attorney released a statement on Sept. 14, in which he announced he had advised his clients to remain “in the background.” The family revealed three days later that they had not seen him since Sept. 14.

Charlene Guthrie, who lives directly across the street from the Laundrie family, previously told Fox News she saw Brian Laundrie mowing the lawn, riding his bike with his mother and going camping with his parents in the days after he arrived alone. Petito had previously been living with the family at their home.


Records later obtained by Fox News show Roberta Laundrie checked into Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, approximately an hour away from their home, on Sept. 6 with the plan to stay until Sept. 8.

Prior to that, Roberta Laundrie canceled camping reservations for two people at Fort De Soto Park on Aug. 31. On Sept. 3, she made new reservations for three people at the same park for their Sept. 6 stay, documents obtained by Fox News show.

The FBI is now investigating surveillance and trail camera footage from around the park during that time, authorities confirmed. 

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And the Laundries’ attorney, Steven Bertolino, told Fox News on Thursday that Brian had purchased a cell phone on Sept. 4 – 10 days before he allegedly disappeared – and opened an account with AT&T. 

He said he did not know what had happened to Laundrie’s previous cell phone. Bertolino also said Brian Laundrie left his phone behind at the home and it has since been seized by the FBI. 

Petito’s body was discovered near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sept. 19. A Teton County coroner ruled the death a homicide but has not yet announced the cause.

Laundrie remains on the run, and the FBI has issued an arrest warrant for bank charge fraud. 

Court papers submitted Thursday in the District of Wyoming indicate Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie I. Sprecher will represent the federal government in its case against Laundrie.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Greg Norman contributed to this report. 

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for FOX Business and Fox News. Email tips to Follow her on Twitter at @audpants.


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