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FBI, police resume search for Brian Laundrie in Florida wildlife refuge

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NORTH PORT, Fla. — The FBI and police on Tuesday will resume the search for Brian Laundrie in a 25,000-acre Florida reserve — just one day after calling it off.

Authorities will return to the Carlton Reserve where Laundrie, 23, is believed to have vanished on a hike a week ago after being named a person of interest in his girlfriend Gabby Petito's disappearance.

The FBI is now leading the criminal investigation, North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said in a statement.

"A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25,000-acre [39-square-mile] preserve has yet to yield any answers, but we must press on," Taylor said.

"Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times. It is currently waist-deep in water in many areas.

"This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through gator- and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails."

The FBI plans to continue to search the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie.Dennis A. Clark Police abruptly ended the search of Carlton Reserve, where Laundrie was last known to be, on September 20, 2021.Dennis A. Clark Florida police and the FBI swarmed Laundrie's parents' house, seizing evidence.Dennis A. Clark

Authorities suddenly called off the search for Laundrie in Carlton Reserve first thing Monday. It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the renewed search efforts in the area.

FBI agents swarmed Laundrie's home Monday and declared it a "crime scene" before hauling out his parents.

Laundrie was reported missing by his family on Friday after setting off on the hike three days earlier.

According to Laundrie's parents, Brian has not been seen since he went on a hike on September 14, 2021, after he was named a person of interest in the disappearance of Gabby Petito.Instagram Laundrie's parents reported him missing on September 17, 2021, after he didn't return from his hike.Instagram

A body believed to belong to his 22-year-old girlfriend was discovered in Bridger-Teton National Park in Wyoming near where her van was spotted late last month.

Petito was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11 after Laundrie returned to his Florida home without her 10 days earlier.

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