Search for Laundrie continuing Sunday; Vigil for Gabby Petito held near North Port City Hall

(North Port Police)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 8:15 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 8:48 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The search for Brian Laundrie was called off due to darkness Saturday evening. North Port Spokesman Josh Taylor said efforts are continuing on Sunday.

ATV’s, drones, blood-sniffing dogs, and pickup trucks were all at the scene as well as dozens of law enforcement officers, as they were searching for Brian in a vast reserve his family said he entered earlier this week. Laundrie is a person of interest in his girlfriend Gabby Petito’s disappearance after he returned from a cross country trip without her.

North Port Spokesman Josh Taylor said, “We’re going by the family’s word this is where the family said he was going. " Taylor also said that Laundrie’s relatives only talked with police about the whereabouts of Brian, not about the disappearance of his girlfriend Gabby Petito.

An officer was seen leaving Laundrie’s home with a paper grocery bag Friday night, which Taylor told reporters contained Laundrie’s clothes to be used by the scent-sniffing dogs in their search for Brian. Nothing was found in Saturday’s search.

After speaking with neighbors that live in the search area, they hope for a safe return for both missing people.

“It’s overwhelming I feel horrible for both families,” said neighbor Robin Perkins. “I hope that is a mental issue for both of them and she’s somewhere alive and he’s somewhere just pulling his act together.”

Prayer efforts kicked up at North Port City Hall Saturday night as residents gathered for the second day in a row for a vigil for Gabby Petito.

Organizers said this vigil was held as they are praying for a safe return for Gabby and they were happy to see the turnout.

“It’s very nice to see the community come together and would love to see it continue,” said Lisa Correll. “Anyone that would love to keep continuing it and the tributes that are going to be left here just continuing our community supporting her family.”

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