Dog the Bounty Hunter is convinced he’s picked up the scent of Brian Laundrie — and he’s explaining just how the 23-year-old could possibly continue to evade police.
As we reported, the reality star joined the search for Gabby Petito’s fiancé over the weekend and soon after found a campsite he believes will lead to the survivalist, who has been named a person of interest in her homicide.
Dog, real name Duane Chapman, claimed a tipster alerted him to several recent trips the Laundries made to a campground in Fort De Soto, Florida, just 75 miles north of the family home in North Port.
De Soto is based around a fort built in 1900. It contains more than seven miles of waterfront, eleven floating docks, multiple places to launch kayaks and canoes — and, according to Dog, it’s the perfect place to hide from authorities.
The famed bounty hunter is convinced that Brian could be hiding out there, hopping from island to island in a canoe to avoid being detected. Unfortunately, a spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office told DailyMail.com there’s no official search underway in the remote area — which may mean the Bounty Hunter has to do this himself. And he may at that — because he’s apparently completely convinced!
So what does he know?
Related: Gabby Petito’s Family Say She’s Sending Them ‘Signs’ She’s Still Close
Brian previously visited the area with Gabby just two months ago; at the time, the pair posted a series of pics to a hiking website that show them relaxing on the beach and exploring the Fort De Soto campground. The couple said in a review on The Dyrt:
“Really nice campground, beautiful area with many hikes and easy walks, the beach, historic sites, really nice camp store and well maintained sites!”
Dog told Fox News on Monday night that Laundrie’s parents are also frequent visitors to the area. He claimed Brian’s parents spent the night in Fort De Soto from September 1 to 3, staying in spot number 1, then returned again with Brian to stay on spot 15 from September 6 to 8.
That would line up with the a neighbor who claimed to have seen the Laundries going on a camping trip. The manhunter explained:
“They were registered, went through the gate. They’re on camera. They were here. We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp… Allegedly, what we’re hearing, is two people left on the 8th. Three people came in on the 6th, and two people left on the 8th. I think he’s been here for sure.”
A Fox News Digital reporter overheard a park worker say investigators had checked surveillance video on the grounds — but as of now, search efforts for Laundrie have mainly been concentrated at the Carlton Reserve: an alligator-infested 25,000 acre swamp site 13 miles north of the Laundrie family home.
Dog’s claim comes as local police announced the search will be scaled back as the FBI takes over the hunt. North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said:
“The FBI is now leading the search. I’m told it will be scaled back and targeted based on intelligence. Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access.”
Meanwhile, the Laundries continue to insist they don’t know where Brian is. Steven Bertolino, the family lawyer, said in a statement:
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him. The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.”
The federal agency charged Laundrie with “use of unauthorized access device” last Thursday, and said they will “continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide.”
Dog vowed to find Brian before his 24th birthday on November 18. Is he on the right track? Is he alone there??
Click HERE to see pictures of the campsite where Dog thinks he’s hiding.
[Image via Instagram/YouTube]