An “underwater recovery team” has joined the search for Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in a 25,000-acre Florida reserve, according to reports.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office dive crew arrived at the Carlton Reserve on Wednesday to look for Laundrie, a person of interest in Petito’s death in Wyoming.

The Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force, or SURF, is a team of “highly trained underwater specialists,” the sheriff’s website says.

“Area resources are looking at large bodies of water, including dive teams, boats, and sonar equipment,” North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said. “At this time, this does not mean anything has been found. It’s part of the overall search process.”

A team of K-9s was also at the scene.

The FBI is leading the search for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.
Dennis A. Clark
Police are see hauling in more vehicles to help with the search for Brian Laundrie who is still missing from his home in North Port.
An “underwater recovery team” has joined the search for Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in a 25,000-acre Florida reserve. / SplashNews

“We are trying to cover every acre of this preserve,” said North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell. “It’s rough out there. It’s hot, it’s wet.”

Laundrie, 23, disappeared last week after arriving home from a cross-country trip without Petito on Sept. 1 — quickly hiring a lawyer and refusing to cooperate with police.

His parents told cops he went for a hike at the reserve on Tuesday and never returned, but they did not report him missing until Friday.

petito and laundrie
Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s death.

On Sunday, police found Petito’s body at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, which the couple had visited during their cross-country trip.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed her identity and declared the case a homicide — although the cause of death has yet to be released.

Her family is planning to bring her home to her native Long Island.


By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.