Alabama cops have said that investigations into multiple possible sightings of Brian Laundrie, who is wanted in connection with the disappearance o
Alabama cops have said that investigations into multiple possible sightings of Brian Laundrie, who is wanted in connection with the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito have not yielded any leads about his whereabouts, as rumors spread.
Internet sleuths had thought Laundrie could be in the Mobile, Alabama area, where people reported multiple sightings of a man fitting his description.
The city is more than 600 miles northwest of his home in North Port, Florida, where he had been staying with his parents before disappearing on Tuesday. Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Captain Paul Burch told FOX 10 News he does not believe Laundrie, 23, had any connections to the area.
His parents reported him missing on Friday, claiming he went to a nearby nature preserve and never returned.
Rumors of his whereabouts have since flooded social media, with some speculating he may have been the body found in a dumpster outside of a Walmart in Mobile.
But police on Monday told FOX 10 News that they have been investigating the reports, but none of the reports turned up anything of substance.
The body in the dumpster, they said, belonged to an unidentified homeless man.
Still, Burch said he would never discourage people from reporting anything that might be useful.
‘We will always check every one, because you may never know,’ he said. ‘I would not want to be the one that didn’t send someone and it turns out to be him.’
Brian Laundrie, 23, right, is wanted in connection with the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito
His parents reported him missing on Friday, claiming he went to a nearby nature preserve and never returned
Some on social media were speculating that Laundrie could be in the Mobile, Alabama area, but police there have said they did not find anything substantial from these reports
Florida police are investigating whether the man seen in this picture walking near his parent’s home in North Port, Florida on Friday could be him
Authorities back in his hometown in Florida are also probing whether a cellphone picture taken Friday of a man cops say looks a ‘heck’ fa lot like Brian Laundrie is actually him.
The photo was taken just before 5 p.m. on Friday in North Port, just about two blocks from Laundrie’s parents’ home, according to the New York Post. It shows a bald-headed, clean shaven man with what officials suggest is a similar build to Laundrie casually walking in flip flops and sweatpants wearing headphones.
It was taken by Zachary Randazzo, who was driving by the area about an hour and a half before investigators from the North Port Police Department showed up at his parent’s home, after their attorney called the FBI to report him missing.
The man in the photo, though, appears t have tattoos on his left arm, which Laundrie does not.
Other than that, though, Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the North Port Police Department, said, it ‘sure as heck looks like him.’
Randazzo, 18, of Tampa, said he did a double take when he saw the man, who he claimed ‘looks just like [Laundrie’s] clone.
‘We’re not 100 percent sure,’ he said, ‘but it looks so close, I don’t know how it couldn’t be him.’
Meanwhile, officers called off their search of the wildlife refuge in Sarasota Laundrie’s parents said he visited, noting on Monday they had ‘exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there.’
They said, though, they would still investigate his whereabouts, as his attorney is expected to hold a news conference at 1 p.. on Tuesday to address Laundrie’s whereabouts and the FBI investigation.
North Port Police had searched the nature preserve where his parents said he walked to on Friday before he disappeared
They called off the search on Monday saying they had ‘exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there’
Authorities said, though, they will continue their hunt for Laundrie, 23
Investigators have also gained court permission to access the contents of an external hard drive they say was found in Gabby Petito’s van while executing a search warrant of the van Laundrie had returned home from the couple’s cross-country trek with on September 1, without Petito.
An initial filing said investigators believed there was probable cause that the hard drive contained ‘evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed,’ NBC News reports.
And according to the court filing approving the warrant, the court clerk said there was probable cause Petito was ‘unable to care for herself due to her increased anxiety,’ which only created circumstances further necessitating the search warrant.
The finding was based on a ‘totality of the circumstances,’ NBC reports, including a 911 call response to Utah where Petito was seen on body camera footage describing herself as suffering from high anxiety and having difficulty managing the intense emotions.
A 911 call obtained by DailyMail.com from the incident captured a caller in Utah reporting a domestic abuse incident involving van-life woman Gabby Petito and fiancé Brian Laundrie that claimed Laundrie slapped Petito on August 12.
In the audio, obtained by DailyMail.com, the male caller tells a Grant County sheriff that a ‘gentleman’ in a white van with a Florida license plate had slapped a girl in the vehicle before driving away.
The man also mentions the incident had happened ‘by Moonflower’ – likely referring to the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, where Laundrie and Petito stayed the night of August 11 and where they reportedly were seen having an explosive fight.
‘I’m right in the corner of Main Street by Moonflower and we are driving and I’d like to report a domestic dispute. Florida with a white van – Florida license plate, white van,’ the man says before being interrupted by the officer, who asks him what he saw exactly.
‘They just drove off. They’re going towards Main Street. They made a right onto Main Street from Moonflower. We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl,’ the man continues.
‘He was slapping her?’ the sheriff asks.
‘Yes. And then we stopped. They ran down an up the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off,’ the man says as the audio ends.
A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car in body camera footage after the couple was pulled over in Utah. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation and cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’
Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’
Shortly after the call, Petito and Laundrie were filmed in police bodycam footage when they were stopped by Moab Police. In the video, an emotional Petito with tears streaming down her face tells officers she ‘was trying to get him [Laundrie] to stop telling [her] to calm down’ and admitting the couple had ‘been fighting all morning.’
The 911 call is the latest in a series of major developments in the case over the weekend. On Sunday police found remains believed to be Petito’s at a campsite in Wyoming, just days after Laundrie ‘went missing’ from his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, where he returned upon Petito’s disappearance, using her van and refusing to talk to police.
FBI agents stormed his family’s home on Monday and removed his parents from the house while declaring the area a crime scene moments after authorities called off a search of a nearby nature reserve, saying they have ‘exhausted all avenues.’
The FBI tweeted on Monday that it ‘is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation.’
‘No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation,’ the FBI added.
Steven Berolino, an attorney for the family, told ABC 7 that the family went looking for Laundrie on Wednesday. They found his Ford Mustang, which had a police note on it demanding that the vehicle be removed from the area.
The family initially left the car there so that Brian Laundrie could drive it back, but they returned on Thursday to retrieve it, according to Bertolino.
The next day, the family filed a missing persons report.
Gabby set out on a cross-country trip July 2 with boyfriend Brian Laundrie in the couple’s 2012 Ford Transit van
Together, they visited Zion National Park, documenting their trip together in various photos
But on September 1, Laundrie returned home to his parent’s home in North Port without Petito
FBI agents talks with a North Port officer while they collect evidence from the home of Brian Laundrie on Monday
One officer was seen carrying boxes into the home as they searched for evidence
It appeared at one point that FBI officers were looking for Brian Laundrie at the house. Five FBI agents at the side of the property searched a plastic garden lidded container
Laundrie’s family found his Ford Mustang, which had a police note on it demanding that the vehicle be removed from the area
Members of the Teton County Search and Rescue team comb the Spread Creek river and its tributaries for Petito
A body believed to be Petito was found in the area and was carried away for an autopsy
Petito was reported missing on September 11 after her family hadn’t heard from her in 13 days. She last spoke to her mother on the phone on August 25 and her last known location was Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Laundrie returned to their home in North Port, Florida, alone on September 1 in the couple’s camper van – which has now been seized by police – 10 days before she was reported missing.
On Wednesday police officially named Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in her mystery disappearance and said he is refusing to cooperate with their investigation.
Laundrie’s attorney released a statement saying he is not speaking to police or making a statement ‘on the advice of counsel’ because ‘intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focus their attention on in cases like this.’
By Sunday, authorities found a body believed to be Petito in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
Authorities have not yet determined a cause of death, and an autopsy on the body is scheduled for Tuesday.