Police Find “No Known” Connection Between Brian Laundrie and Man on Surveillance Footage

Florida officers investigated video footage that purported to show a man in Baker, Fla., in hopes of locating Gabby Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie. However, police said "no one" was found.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 22, 2021 2:50 AMTags
Watch: Gabby Petito Confirmed Dead at 22: Autopsy Reveals Manner of Death

One possible lead as to Brian Laundrie's whereabouts has resulted in a dead end.

The search for Gabby Petito's missing fiancé continues, with Florida police saying they will resume their efforts to find Laundrie on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the Carlton Reserve. 

On Sept. 21, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said it investigated a report of a potential sighting in Baker, Fla., sharing a black-and-white photo that depicted a man carrying a backpack in a grassy and forested area.

The Sheriff's Office reposted the picture from a Facebook user named Sam Bass, who wrote on Sept. 20, "I'm not saying this is the guy but whoever was on my trail camera this morning in Baker, Fl strongly fits the description of Brian Laundrie." The user added that authorities had been contacted. 

Police did their "due diligence in response to this report," the Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook. On Tuesday afternoon, they were "wrapping up an extensive search that took place in this area to also include nearby farmlands and a search by drone." 

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However, officers said nothing turned up that connected the footage to Laundrie, who is an official personal of interest after Petito's remains were positively identified on Sept. 21. She was confirmed dead, with an autopsy revealing her manner of death is homicide.


"No one - and nothing - of note was located," the Sheriff's Office wrote of the surveillance footage. "There are no known possible past or current connections between Laundrie and anyone in this area at this time to follow up on." 

The authorities added, "In the meantime we will remain vigilant and if anything new of significance develops we will share."

On Sept. 22, the officers further explained that they "positively identified the individual whose image was captured on a deer trail camera" near Baker that was shared on social media.

The OCSO confirmed the man is an Okaloosa County resident, "who acknowledged he was the one walking on the deer trail carrying his backpack," noting that a neck tattoo also made him recognizable. 

"The private citizen was located and a positive identification has been made," the statement read. Officers "found no indications" that Laundrie "is, or was, in Okaloosa County."

The North Port Police said their search for Laundrie "concluded for the evening" on Sept. 21 with "Nothing of note" being discovered at the Carlton Reserve. "The current plan is to return Wednesday with a similar operation," they tweeted.

Laundrie and Petito departed New York for a cross-country road trip in mid-June. He returned home to Florida without her on Sept. 1., and her family reported her missing on Sept. 11. Police found the body of the 22-year-old blogger on Sept. 19 near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her cause of death is pending the final autopsy results.

Laundrie's family said they have not seen him since Sept. 14. 

FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said on Sept. 21, "The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito's death is held accountable for their actions. Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie's role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI."

E! News obtained audio from a recent 911 call, revealing a man called police in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 to report that Laundrie was "slapping" Petito. Authorities then pulled over her Ford Transit van, as seen in body cam footage, and Petito explained they had been "fighting." 


An unsealed search warrant, obtained by E! News on Sept. 20, revealed that there "appeared to be more and more tension" between Petito and Laundrie as their trip progressed. That's according to a detective who spoke with Petito's mom, Nicole Schmidt, who had been texting and calling her daughter during her "Van Life" journey. 

Schmidt received an "odd text" from Petito on Aug. 27 that read, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls," according to the search warrant. Schmidt felt it was strange because Petito never referred to her grandfather, Stan, by his first name.

"The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter," the Florida warrant stated. "This is the last communication anyone had with the subject."

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