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Brian Laundrie search team did not find a campsite, Florida police say

Florida police said a search team did not find a fresh campsite in the search for Brian Laundrie.

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Reporters inspect a creek at the Carlton Reserve during a search for Brian Laundrie.

Reporters inspect a creek flowing under an entrance road at the Carlton Reserve during a search for Brian Laundrie on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Venice, Fla. Authorities didn’t find a campsite in their search for Laundrie despite reports that they had found a recently used site at a Florida campground.

Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

Authorities didn’t find a campsite in their search for Brian Laundrie despite reports that they had found a recently used site at a Florida campground.

The search for Laundrie took a possible turn when an unnamed source told CNN on Wednesday that authorities found a recently used campsite in the reserve, which has been the main location in the search.

The campsite was allegedly found even though the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve is closed to visitors.

But Josh Taylor, spokesperson for the police in North Port, Florida, told CNN on Thursday that investigators did not find a campsite during their search efforts at the reserve. Though possible, Taylor told CNN he hasn’t heard of a campsite being found.

“Is it possible that they thought that there might be a campsite out there or something they may have seen from the air but when they got on the ground that’s not what it turned out to be? Sure, I think that’s a possibility,” Taylor said. “Bottom line, is that investigators are telling me that no campsite was found out there.”

Laundrie is wanted in the disappearance of Gabby Petito, his girlfriend. The couple had been on a cross-country road trip this summer before Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1 without Petito. Her family later reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Soon after, on Sept. 13, Laundrie reportedly left his home for a hike, leaving his cellphone and wallet behind. His family reported him missing on Sept. 17.

Authorities found Petito’s body in Wyoming on Sept. 19. Two days later, she was confirmed to have died by homicide.

Since then, police have been looking for Laundrie, who is also charged under a federal arrest warrant for “use of unauthorized access device.” Reports suggest Laundrie had allegedly used Petito’s bank card three days after she was known to be alive.

Police have focused their efforts on the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre park in Venice, Florida — not far from Laundrie’s home in North Port, Florida.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino told CNN that no major discoveries were made at the Carlton Reserve this week, and that the search will continue.

“There were no discoveries but the effort was helpful to all,” Bertolino said. “It seems the water in the Preserve is receding and certain areas are more accessible to search. 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.”