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Why the search for Brian Laundrie just became easier at Carlton Reserve

Brian Laundrie is still missing despite renewed efforts to find him in the Carlton Reserve in Florida

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito together in a photo.
Brian Laundrie is still missing despite renewed efforts to find him in the Cartlon Reserve in Florida.
North Port Police Department

The search for Brian Laundrie, the missing boyfriend of the late Gabby Petito, may become easier for authorities, according to the Laundrie family’s attorney.

Laundrie is wanted as a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito. Petito and Laundrie had been on a cross-country road trip this summer. But only Laundrie returned home, driving Petito’s van, on Sept. 1. Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Laundrie is believed the last person to have been with Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19 in Wyoming. She was confirmed to have died by homicide.

Authorities have been looking for Laundrie since Sept. 17, when his family first reported him missing. He reportedly left his home on Sept. 13, to go on a hike. But he never returned home. The search intensified when U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie for “use of unauthorized access device.” Laundrie had allegedly used Petito’s bank card three days after she was last known to be alive.

The Laundrie family’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, said in a statement that Carlton Reserve’s conditions have improved, making it easier for authorities to search for Laundrie, per CNN.

“It seems the water in the preserve is receding and certain areas are more accessible to search,” said Bertolino, according to CNN. “The entire Laundrie family is grateful for the hard work of the dedicated members of law enforcement that have been searching the preserve for Brian over the last few weeks. Hopefully, Brian will be located soon.”

Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, recently told Fox News senior correspondent Laura Ingle that she knew Petito wasn’t alive when she didn’t return home with Laundrie.

“The night I knew the van was in Florida, I instinctively knew that my daughter was not here anymore,” she said.

Schmidt said she suspects Laundrie is somewhere on a hiking trail or a campground.

“I’m not certain,” she told Laura Ingle. “But I would think that he’s in an area like the Appalachian Trail or a campground where he can live off the land because he had those skills.”