Police resume search of Florida wilderness for fiance of late Gabby Petito

Sept 22 (Reuters) – Police and FBI agents resumed their search of a swampy Florida wilderness for Gabby Petito’s fiance on Wednesday, one day after a woman’s body found in a Wyoming national park was identified as that of the missing 22-year-old travel blogger.

Police have described the fiance Brian Laundrie, 23, as a “person of interest” in the case, which has captivated Americans since Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11. Ten days earlier, Laundrie had returned home to North Port, Florida, without Petito from a cross-country road trip they had embarked on together and documented in social media posts.

Laundrie has not been seen since Sept. 14, when he purportedly left his family’s home, which was also shared with Petito, in North Port with plans to hike alone in the nearby Carlton Reserve wilderness area in Florida. North Port police say they learned from Laundrie’s family only on Friday that he had been gone for three days.

A North Port police spokesman said early on Wednesday that searchers have “huddled up” and headed out again to look for Laundrie in the vast, alligator-infested reserve, which has some 80 miles of hiking trails. Other sections of the reserve are nearly impassable to humans.

Search teams had found Petito’s body on Sunday in a remote area of Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming, less than 1,000 feet (300 meters) from where, on the evening of Aug. 27, another pair of travel bloggers recorded on video what appeared to be the couple’s white Ford Transit van parked along a dirt road.

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Source: Reuters