Dog the Bounty Hunter is giving up the hunt for Brian Laundrie, who disappeared shortly before the body of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found in a Wyoming park.
The 68-year-old bounty hunter, whose real name is Duane Chapman, said he has left Florida and flown back to his home state of Colorado to nurse a sprained ankle. He and his team had been searching for the 23-year-old fugitive in the swampy Carlton Reserve.
His daughter, Lyssa Chapman, wrote on Twitter that the “bait is set.”
Late last week, police hunting for Laundrie reportedly found a recently used campsite at the Florida park where Laundrie told his parents he was going.
“A source close [to] his family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo last Wednesday that authorities said they ‘found fresh traces of a campsite’ at the sprawling, 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota,” the New York Post reported.
The new development followed a report Wednesday that says Laundrie flew home to Florida after his infamous fight with his girlfriend in Utah, then rejoined her just before she vanished.
The family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, revealed a twist in the case’s timeline to the Post last Tuesday, saying “Brian returned to his parents’ home in North Port on Aug. 17 and then flew back to Salt Lake City on Aug. 23 to rejoin Petito.”
“Brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as [he and Petito] contemplated extending the road trip,” Bertolino said in a text to the paper. “To my knowledge, Brian and Gabby paid for the flights, as they were sharing expenses.”
Petito, 22, was reportedly last seen at a Wyoming restaurant on August 27, while Laundrie, 23, returned home alone in her van on September 1. Petito’s body was found on September 19 at a campsite at the Teton-Bridger National Forest in Wyoming. A coroner declared her death a homicide and Laundrie has disappeared.
Meanwhile, other reports emerged. Laundrie used Petito’s bank card in Wyoming just three days after she was last seen alive, her family’s lawyer said Tuesday.
“You can look at his state of mind by his actions,” Petito family attorney Richard Stafford said on the “Dr. Phil” show on CBS-TV. “He ran, he stole her credit card, he used her credit card to get home and then ran from the police. That’s going to show a lot what he was thinking back then.”
Federal authorities in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant on September 23 for Laundrie for allegedly using a stolen card “on or about August 30, 2021, through and including on or about September 1, 2021” when he “obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more.”
In another development, Laundrie’s sister last Tuesday implored her fugitive brother to hand himself over to the police.
“I would tell my brother to just come forward and get us out of this horrible mess,” Cassie Laundrie told “Good Morning America” in an interview. “I worry about him. I hope he’s okay — and then I’m angry,” she said.
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