Activity at the 25,000-acre Florida nature preserve where Brian Laundrie’s parents said he went for a hike on Sept. 13 or Sept. 14 ramped up Thursday. Multiple law enforcement vehicles were spotted on the Venice end of the Carlton Reserve around 9:30am as teams combed through the area, per WFLA. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, located about an hour and a half away, confirmed its human remains detection dog, one of the only ones in the state, was again on scene following a request from the North Port Police Department and FBI.
A day earlier, Laundrie's lawyer hit out at Dog the Bounty Hunter and America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, who've been involved in the search for his missing client, considered a person of interest in the death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. Steven Bertolino told TMZ that "dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity hungry egos some food." The case does appear to have benefited Dog the Bounty Hunter as TMZ reports several networks have reached out with TV offers.
Petito's mother, Nichole Schmidt, has taken issue with Bertolino's reference to Petito's death as a "tragedy" after an autopsy on the body found Sept. 19 in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest revealed the 22-year-old died weeks earlier by manual strangulation. "His words are garbage," Schmidt responded, per WFLA. "Keep talking." Bertolino on Tuesday noted Laundrie is "currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby" and "only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito's demise." This was the first confirmation that the debit card Laundrie allegedly used from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 was Petito's, per WTSP. (Read more Brian Laundrie stories.)