Search for Brian Laundrie focuses on rugged Florida reserve locals call a death trap

The rugged Florida swamp where authorities hunt Brian Laundrie could be the perfect place to hide - if it weren't for man-eating alligators, venomous snakes, bloodthirsty mosquitos and relentless elements, locals said.
Authorities believe Laundrie, a person interested in Gabby Petito's disappearance and death, is somewhere on the 24,565-acre Carlton reservation in Sarasota County, Florida, on the Gulf Coast near the couple's home in North Port .
"I can't imagine spending the night out there camping," Francine Smetts, who has lived in the area for 15 years and runs a farm near the reservation, told the New York Post.
The area has 80 miles of hiking and biking trails, but is mostly covered in dense foliage, mangroves, and swampy terrain that not only makes finding Laundrie difficult but could also put his life at risk.
On Wednesday, a team of "highly trained underwater specialists" arrived at the reservation "to search for evidence of crimes and victims of drowning, water accidents and foul play," the Sarasota Sheriff's Office wrote on its website.
Search teams are looking for Brian Laundrie, the friend of Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, in the Carlton Reserve Park near North Port in the Flaa Florida Wildlife Park on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Petito, 22, was reported missing from her parents on Sept. 11 after being unresponsive to calls and text messages for several days while the couple were visiting parks to the west. Her body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sunday. (North Port Police Department via AP) AP
Although Laundrie has been described as a seasoned camper, Smetts noted that the reserve is full of alligators, venomous snakes and, perhaps worst of all, merciless mosquitoes.
"If you're in the sun they won't bother you, but if you step into the shade the mosquitoes will just go after you, so I'm just surprised that someone is hiding out there," she said. She added that she was "afraid" to cross the site alone.
Matthew Hall, a survivor who works at Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure, said that depending on Laundrie's skills, he might be fine.
"The Florida habitat makes it a little easier to hide, depending on what type of habitat you're hiding in," Hall told Fox13.
Most people can survive out there for several days if they have basic necessities like food, water and shelter, Hall added.
"Having a tarpaulin or using a rope to build a shelter with a knife is really helpful. If you are in an area where there are sufficient sources of water and you can search for food to get what you already have supplement, someone can stay out there for an extended period of time, "he said.
But Hall warned that the merciless sun, almost constant rain, and even the sharp vegetation can be dangerous.
“Lots of wild animals and lots of plants… kind of defend themselves,” he said.
Hall estimated that a skilled hiker can cover 20-30 miles a day.
This police camera video, provided by the Moab Police Department, shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police stopped the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito near the entrance to Arches National Park on August 12th would have. 2021. The couple was arrested during an emotional argument. Petito was reported missing by her family a month later. (Moab Police via AP) AP
These estimates do not imply that there is an army of authorities and volunteers on the trail.
On Friday, Laundrie reportedly told his parents that he was going on a hike and had never returned.
Steven Bertolino, the laundries attorney, said the family were "definitely concerned, but we don't want to speculate about anything".
These comments led to a reprimand from Petito's uncle Steve, who said, “We don't need or want your sympathy.
The police tried to find out what happened to the young couple on a road trip through the country to the national parks.
Laundrie returned from the drive to his family home in Petito's white van on September 1, even though she was not with him.
This combination of photos, provided by the FBI Denver via @FBIDenver, shows the missing person, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito. Petito, 22, disappeared with her boyfriend while driving overland in a converted motor home. Authorities say a body discovered in Wyoming on Sunday, September 19, 2021 is Petito. (Courtesy FBI Denver via AP) AP
Petito and Laundrie left New York on their month-long journey on July 22nd, making stops in Colorado and Utah. Petito was last seen on August 24 when she and Laundrie were checking out of a Salt Lake City hotel.
Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, said she last heard from her daughter on August 25 when Petito told her they were going to Wyoming.
Schmidt said her daughter seemed "excited" about her next adventure, but that she was worried when Petito stopped communicating.
Petito's parents, who live on Long Island, New York, reported her missing on September 11 after hearing from her for two weeks.
On Tuesday, the FBI confirmed that the remains of a person found over the weekend in Wyoming were Petito.
Teton County's coroner Brent Blue's first decision on the manner of death is murder. The cause of death remains pending the final result of the autopsy, the FBI added.
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Tags: News, Crime, Missing Person, Florida, New York, Utah, Wyoming, National Parks, FBI
Original author: Barnini Chakraborty
Original Location: The search for Brian Laundrie focuses on the rugged Florida reservation that locals refer to as a death trap

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