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Law enforcement says they are following up on tips that Brian Laundrie, suspected in Gabby Petito’s death, might be in N.C.

The body of 22-year-old Gabby Petito was found on September 19 at a campground in rural Wyoming
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 11:25 AM EDT
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WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - North Carolina law enforcement says they are looking into tips that Brian Laundrie might be in the state hiding.

Laundrie is wanted as the person of interest in connection with Gabby Petito’s death in Wyoming.

The body of 22-year-old Petito was found on September 19 at a campground in rural Wyoming.

Petito disappeared while on a cross-country trek with her boyfriend, Laundrie, who has been identified by authorities as a person of interest and is now being sought.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office says they have been following tips that say Laundrie could be along the Appalachian Trail near Boone and Watauga County.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman told WBTV they did check out some tips that Laundrie was up their way.

He said officers checked out a car, looked along the parkway and campgrounds, but also said the tips were “totally unsubstantiated.”

“We are only following some social media reports – nothing verified at all,” Hagaman said.

According to Newsweek, television’s Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman has joined the search for Laundrie.

His daughter, Lyssa Chapman, tweeted out that they are looking for an “experienced hiking/survivalist near the Appalachian Hiking Trail in North Carolina.

“I know these types rarely have social media,” Chapman said. “So do you have a family member or friend who fits this description?”

Petito was laid to rest at her funeral on Monday.

On Tuesday, Gabby Petito’s family spoke for the first time.

They thanked law enforcement, media, social media and everyone who helped find her.

The family said they plan on starting a foundation in her memory, the details of which are being worked out.

“We need positive stuff” to come from what happened, said her father Joseph Petito.

He in particular credited people on social media and the news media.

“This same time of awareness should be continued for everyone, everyone” in regard to missing persons cases, Joseph Petito said.

They said they are happy with the FBI’s response to the case, who they said has been with them from the beginning.

The family attorney, Richard Stafford, urged Brian Laundrie to turn himself in to authorities.

The FBI has now taken charge of the search for Laundrie in Florida and is switching strategies, WWSB reported.

Wednesday marks Day 12 of the search for Laundrie, the fiance of 22-year-old Petito. Her body was found Sept. 19 in Wyoming after she did not return home with Laundrie from a cross-country trip and was reported missing.

The FBI’s search is “targeted based on intelligence” as they comb areas where they think Laundrie is most likely to be.

As the search for their son continues, the Laundrie family lawyer told reporters Monday that his parents do not know where he went.

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