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Gabby Petito missing update – Carlton reserve in Florida searched for Brian Laundrie after bizarre Instagram post found

MORE than 50 North Port police officers as well as the FBI conducted a vast search in the Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota area Saturday.

They later called off Saturday's search for Brian due to darkness.

"Our search of the Carlton is being called this evening due to darkness. Nothing found. Efforts will begin again Sunday morning," the North Port police department said on Saturday shortly before 8pm.

They were also forced to deny false reports that they had found a body in the search.

The news comes as a business owner claimed Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie spent nearly 20 minutes at her store in Idaho on either August 25 or 26.

"They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone and I told them they could go to the west entrance," the owner of Rustic Row in Victor told EastIdahoNews.com.

"They seemed happy and when they left, she hollered back from the door that they were engaged and then I said congratulations,” she added.

The store owner told the local news outlet that she has reported this information to police.

If true, this encounter would have occurred after Petito's last confirmed sighting at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 24.

Petito, 22, has been missing for two weeks after going on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé.

She and her boyfriend had planned a road trip through Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming that would finish in Yellowstone.

While Petito never returned home, her fiancé did and has since made headlines after he reportedly hired an attorney and refused to work with the police.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • COPS PROBE PIC OF MAN IN FLORIDA

    North Port police are looking into whether a photo of a man who "sure as heck looks" like Brian Laundrie indeed shows Gabby Petito's missing fiancé.

    The photo, taken on a cellphone, shows a bald man in flip flops who resembles Brian walking about two blocks from the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida.

    It was taken on Friday - days after Laundrie's parents reported last seeing him before he went missing.

    North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor told the New York Post they are aware of the photo and are investigating it, but that while it looks like Brian, the man in the photo has a tattoo on his left arm, unlike Gabby's fiancé.

    “Not looking like him. Tattoo on left arm … but we are going to make sure,” said Taylor. "Other than that, sure as heck looks like him.”

  • SEARCH FOR BRIAN LAUNDRIE

  • POLICE GAIN CELL PHONE ACCESS

  • WHEN DID THE ROAD TRIP START?

    Gabby and Laundrie started their road trip on July 2 and planned to visit Portland, Oregon so they could visit a friend for Halloween.

    They converted the van into a camper and documented their experiences on social media, NBC New York reports.

    Gabby said living out of the van "was the best decision" the couple had ever made.

    They started a YouTube channel called "Nomadic Statik" where they shared their journey with fans.

    The pair visited Colorado Springs and many national parks in Utah but left the state due to the risk of wildfires.

  • GABBY'S PARENTS BEG HER TO COME HOME

    Gabby's mom Nicole Schmidt told a press conference: "I believe she’s going to come home.

    "They had a plan, an itinerary, and we were excited for them. Everyone wanted to be doing what they were doing."

    Schmidt’s husband, Joe Petito, said: "Gabby, we just want you to come home. Call us. Let us know you’re OK. Come home, please.”

  • FRIENDS POST TO FACEBOOK GROUP

    Gabby's loved ones posted to a Facebook page set up to help find her on Monday, writing: "I just want to reiterate …WE ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR GABBY AT THIS TIME."

    "Please focus all efforts on sharing her information. We are not talking about Brian or the van," they added.

    "Gabby is ALONE and she does not have a vehicle. Please keep sharing!"

  • DO THE LAUNDRIES HAVE A SECOND CHILD?

    It's unclear if the Laundries had a second child.

    While not much is known about Laundrie, he is known for being just as adventurous as his partner.

    According to his Instagram bio, he is a "nature enthusiast," and his most recent pictures are from his cross-country travels.

    His Instagram account also indicates that he is an artist as he has multiple pictures posted related to printmaking art.

  • PETITO FAMILY RELEASES RESPONSE STATEMENT

    Petito's family issued a statement in response, begging the Laundrie family to assist in finding their daughter.

    "The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful twenty-two-year-old daughter is missing and the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help."

    It went on to slam Laundrie for staying silent: "Brian is refusing to tell Gabby's family where he last saw her.

    "Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida.

    "The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not 'remain in the background' but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life."

  • LAUNDRIE FAMILY RELEASES STATEMENT

    On September 14, 2021, Laundrie's parents - Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55 - issued an official statement to the media through their lawyer.

    They said: "This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. I understand that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

    "On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family.

    "On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."

  • GABBY'S DAD POSTS VIDEO WITH #FINDGABBY

  • LAUNDRIE AND PETITO STOPPED BY POLICE

    Just weeks before Petito vanished, the pair were stopped by police and questioned about an apparent domestic dispute that had been reported.

    The more than hour-long clip begins with officers pulling over the couple's white 2012 Ford Transit van and approaching the passenger-side window.

    With tears streaming down her face, Petito tells the officer: "We've just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues."

    Brian adds: "It's been a long day. We were camping yesterday, and camping got [inaudible] and stuff."

  • WHEN DID BRIAN DISAPPEAR?

    On Friday, September 17, Laundrie's attorney said his client is missing, as the FBI is now trying to locate him and Petito.

    Nearly a week into the search for Petito, officers with the North Port Police Department entered Laundrie's Florida home to speak with his family; however, Laundrie was nowhere to be found.

    Laundrie's attorney told ABC7: "Be advised, the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown.

    "The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian."

  • LAUNDRIES RELEASE STATEMENT

    On September 14, 2021, the Laundries issued an official statement to the media through their lawyer.

    They said: "This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family.

    "I understand that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

    "On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family.

    "On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."

  • TIKTOKER SPOKE TO FBI

    A Tiktoker published four videos on Friday explaining what happened and noting that the hitchhiker offered $200 for the ride, which would have only been approximately 10 miles, something which struck Baker as "kind of weird."

    The Sun reached out to law enforcement and Baker to obtain further details but has not yet received a response.

    However, North Port Police Department spokesperson Joshua Taylor confirmed to The Independent that they had talked with Baker.

    "We have talked to her. That is all I can confirm," the Florida police department said in an email.

  • WHEN WAS PETITO LAST SEEN?

    Petito, who told her family she was visiting a Wyoming national park on August 25, then went missing and now Laundrie is as well.

    Petito was last seen on August 24 after leaving a Salt Lake City, Utah hotel but it is unknown the last time her boyfriend was seen.

  • WHO IS BRIAN'S SISTER CASSIE?

    Cassie Laundrie is the sister of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of missing Gabby Petito.

    Little is known about Cassie’s background but she came under fire from Gabby’s dad, Joe, in an interview with NewsNation, who said the Laundrie family had a warped sense of love.

    “If that’s that family’s version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone’s gone and people are looking for them and entire country’s looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today. Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love,” Petito said.

  • GABBY'S DAD POSTS HEARTBREAKING INSTAGRAM MESSAGE

  • LAUNDRIE RETURNED ALONE

    Laundrie is believed to have driven home alone in Gabby's white Ford Transit van to Florida on September 1 - but Gabby was not reported missing until September 11, weeks after her family had last heard from her.

    Petito was last seen on August 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah, before traveling to at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on August 25, where she made a final call to her family before a planned a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

    A later message from Petito's phone to her family said she had poor signal in Yeosemtie, California - although it's not clear whether she sent the message or not.

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