SARASOTA COUNTY — North Port Police say they did not find anything on their first day of searching for Brian Laundrie.
Several law enforcement agencies were out searching the Mayakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park Saturday, trying to find Laundrie. Laundrie is the fiancé of Gabby Petito, who was reported missing on September 11th, and police learned Friday night from Laundrie’s parents that he hasn’t been seen since Tuesday.
Officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, North Port Police, and even the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were out searching the park. We learned it was based on a tip they got from Laundrie’s parents.
"His family says that this is a place that he frequents. They also believe that this is where he came. He had his backpack. He said this is where he was coming," said Public Information Officer Josh Taylor with the North Port Police Department.
Jason Anderson lives right across from the park. He watched as officers followed that tip with dozens of vehicles, closing the park down.
"It’s just crazy how we’re watching this story on the news, and it ends up in your backyard," said Anderson.
"We have drones up, we have four-wheelers, and we’ve got 50 people who are used to dealing with these types of elements," said Taylor
We met up with Jack D’Amico who lives nearby. He was kind enough to give us a tour of the area in his golf cart.
You could see a number of the large, aquatic vehicles that police were using to search the park, that stretches for thousands of acres.
"That’s the only way you would get in here. You can actually ride an air boat from there all the way down to the other end of the road," said D'Amico.
We also found police searching the Carlton Reserve, which is to the east, but connects with the Environmental Park.
Anderson said he's hoping for the best.
“We’ve been praying for the girl, Gabby. We hope she gets found. This guy needs to be found and, if he does, give up the information. That’s the best case scenario," said Anderson.
North Port Police have also been releasing photos of the search on their Twitter page, including drone shots they got from above. At this time they are still asking the public to call them if they have any information that could help locate Laundrie.