DOG the Bounty Hunter said he's close to capturing Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie alive.
Duane "Dog" Chapman and his crew of K-9s joined the search for the fugitive last week but closed in on Florida's Fort De Soto Park on Wednesday.
Sources told TMZ that Dog had obtained new information about Laundrie that leads him to believe he is still alive and was moving around as of Tuesday night.
According to the media outlet, Dog is still searching for the 23-year-old but it is taking longer than expected due to the island's harsh terrain.
No location of where the Dog is searching has been revealed.
On Tuesday, Dog tweeted that he had arrived at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County to determine if Laundrie is canoeing around to elude capture after the disappearance and death of his fiance Gabby, 22.
"We're out here at the island," Dog said while dispatching from Fort De Soto Park, where he believes the 23-year-old outdoorsman may be hiding.
"This would be and could be the perfect spot for him to hide.
"Not too many people out here but there’s a lot of environmental things that we’re going to fight.
“So here we go,” he said. “The search now is really on. The search has just begun.”
The area lies about 75 miles from Laundrie's North Port home.
Yesterday the Dog and his crew sniffed out a fresh Monster Energy Ultra Gold can at the site deep in the woods of Shell Island near Fort De Soto Park.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
It emerged earlier on Wednesday that Laundrie had stayed the night at the park with his parents – just days after returning alone from his cross-country trip with fiance Gabby Petito.
The Monster drink appeared to show no signs of rust or faded colors suggesting it had just recently been discarded, according to Fox News.
The find has not been confirmed to be Laundrie's.
FUGITIVE AT LARGE
The Sun visited Fort De Soto Park on Wednesday, revealing the exact spot where Laundrie and his parents Chris and Roberta stayed on September 6, days after he returned alone from a cross-country road trip with his fiance, Gabby Petito, in her transit van.
She was later found murdered in Wyoming.
Laundrie's parents reported him missing to police on September 17th. Three days earlier, he allegedly told them he was going hiking at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota but failed to return.
Dog suspects Brian never actually left Fort De Soto with his parents when they checked out of the camp on September 8.
While the claim has been dismissed by the family's attorney, campers at Fort De Soto exclusively told The Sun they're fearful Laundrie may be lurking nearby.
"It's scary but realistic," dweller Amanda Smith, who has been staying at the campsite since Sunday, said of Laundrie's potential presence.
"We actually were just looking at some of the mangroves out there and it's very thick.
"You'd have to be skilled which apparently he is in the outdoors but you could for sure hide in them, and this is a good location in terms of being close to things but also being able to kind of get away at the same time."
Beyond Dog's pursuit in the park, law enforcement was also believed to be conducting searches at the park on Wednesday, with helicopters and police cars spotted in the area, WFLA's Josh Benson reported.
When asked by The Sun about police "activity" at Fort De Soto Park, the North Port Police Department said they "can't give any of that information out over the phone."
Smith, who says she visits the park around five times a year, said she didn't notice anything strange about it until Monday night.
"We were out by the campfire and there was a helicopter [flying above] but we weren't really thinking anything of it because we had no idea anything was going on.
"And then on Tuesday morning, I woke up to a text from a friend that said that Dog was looking for Brian and there were tips that he was here and then the whole campground story came out."
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
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