SARASOTA COUNTY — Search crews left the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County just before 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, ending day four of the search for Brian Laundrie. Laundrie was last seen on Tuesday, September 14th.
Right now, because it’s the wet season in Florida, the majority of the 25,000 acres of land in the Reserve is under water.
North Port Police, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation relied on massive trucks to make it through what they said was some pretty soggy ground.
"The terrain is very difficult. Essentially 75 percent of it is underwater, and other areas that are dry we’re trying to clear," said Commander Joe Fussell with the North Port Police Department.
Fussell said they have to stay in communication with the teams in the field in case they run into obstacles.
"If they encounter flooded areas, or terrain that they can’t access with these wheeled vehicles, we’ll deploy our drones directly out into the wooded areas," said Fussell.
But as officers combed the woods in Sarasota County, we learned they weren’t alone.
Up in Okaloosa County, deputies searched the area where a photo was taken of a man walking through the woods. It came from Sam Bass, who lives in Baker, FL. He believes the man he caught on his deer camera bears a striking resemblance to Brian Laundrie.
After following up on that tip, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office tells us it "did not find anyone, or anything of note. Brian Laundrie has no known links to this area.”
But back in the County where Laundrie does have ties, officers said they plan to be back out there Wednesday morning.
"We’re expecting to get wet by the end of the day, and check the entire area for Brian Laundrie," said Fussell.
Officers tell us the operation Wednesday is likely going to look very similar to what we saw Tuesday as they work to cover the more than 25,000 acres of park land to thoroughly search and make sure Brian Laundrie is not somewhere in those woods.