Reality star Dog the Bounty Hunter has dramatically joined the hunt for fugitive Brian Laundrie – exclusively vowing to DailyMail.com: ‘I will find him.’
The former bail bondsman – real name Duane Chapman, 68 – arrived at the house of Laundrie’s parents Christopher and Roberta on Saturday afternoon.
The 68-year-old tough guy – dressed head to toe in black – marched up the drive and banged repeatedly on their front door.
‘I need to speak to the father,’ Chapman told DailyMail.com, before banging again violently on the door of the North Port, Florida property. ‘I need to ask him where his son is. Is he in there?’
Asked if he was confident of solving the mystery of missing Laundrie’s whereabouts, Chapman replied: ‘Yes – I will find him.’
He added: ‘I’m chasing several leads. We’ve got a lot of leads. I can’t tell you more but we are getting leads every ten minutes.’
Chapman has given himself a six-week deadline to find the fugitive – ahead of Brian’s 24th birthday in November.
Reality star Dog the Bounty Hunter has dramatically joined the hunt for fugitive Brian Laundrie – exclusively vowing to DailyMail.com: ‘I will find him’
The former bail bondsman – real name Duane Chapman, 68 – arrived at the house of Laundrie’s parents Christopher and Roberta on Saturday afternoon
The 68-year-old tough guy – dressed head to toe in black – marched up the drive and banged repeatedly on their front door. ‘I need to speak to the father,’ Chapman told DailyMail.com, before banging again violently on the door of the North Port, Florida property. ‘I need to ask him where his son is. Is he in there?’
Brian Laundrie, 23, has been missing since September 15, after he allegedly told his parents he was going hiking in the nearby Carlton Reserve, five miles away from their home. His parents only revealed to cops three days later that he had not returned.
He had embarked on a cross-country road trip with his fiance, Gabby Petito, 22, who was last seen alive on August 25. Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1, and Petito was reported missing by her parents 11 days later.
After an extensive search at Grand Teton National Park’s Spread Creek campground, Petito’s remains were discovered on September 19. A coroner ruled that she died as a result of a homicide, but her manner of death has not yet been revealed.
FBI and local police are still searching for him in an alligator-infested reserve five miles from his home.
On Saturday, Chapman revealed to DailyMail.com that he has also set up a special phone line – 833-TELL-DOG – for the public to call his team with tips and leads.
Chapman is ‘volunteering’ his services because he was moved to help Gabby’s family, according to his rep. He has vowed to cooperate with law enforcement and all leads and tips he receives from the public will be confidential
Chapman is ‘volunteering’ his services because he was moved to help Gabby’s family, according to his rep. He has vowed to cooperate with law enforcement, and all leads and tips he receives from the public will be confidential.
‘Dog and Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves,’ Chapman’s rep said. ‘Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family and want to help bring justice for her death.’
After knocking again, he turned and strode back to his vehicle, driven by latest wife Francie Frane, 52, saying he would reveal more soon, before they sped away.
Chapman and his new wife were in Florida for their honeymoon, having married on September 2, but the round-the-clock coverage of the Petito case sent the pair into action.
Chapman is particularly intrigued by an exclusive DailyMail.com story in which the slain influencer’s best friend, Rose Davis, suggested Laundrie had spent long periods living alone in the Appalachian mountains.
‘Unless there is convincing evidence that he’s in the swamp in Florida that we don’t know about, Dog does not think he’s in there,’ said one source. ‘He thinks he will stick to what he knows, namely the Appalachians. That’s where he knows he can survive for long periods because he’s done it before.
‘He doesn’t think Brian would have the guts to kill himself. He’s doesn’t seem the violent type.’
After knocking again, he turned and strode back to his vehicle, driven by latest wife Francie Frane, 52, saying he would reveal more soon, before they sped away
On Saturday, Chapman revealed to DailyMail.com that he has also set up a special phone line – 833-TELL-DOG – for the public to call his team with tips and leads
The surreal appearance added to the media circus outside the Laundrie household which has been surrounded by FBI agents, cops and a dozen TV crews ever since Brian, 23, returned home from a country-wide road trip without his slain fiancé Gabby Petito only to go missing himself.
‘Dog and Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves,’ Chapman’s rep said. ‘Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family and want to help bring justice for her death’
The surreal appearance added to the media circus outside the Laundrie household which has been surrounded by FBI agents, cops and a dozen TV crews ever since Brian, 23, returned home from a country-wife road trip without his slain fiancé Gabby Petito only to go missing himself.
More than 50 cops have spent the past week scouring alligator-infested swampland in the nearby 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve at a cost of approximately $1.2 million without finding any trace of him.
Chapman was earlier seen chatting casually to cops in the street directly behind the Laundrie residence. A spokesman for the North Port Police Department told DailyMail.com: ‘The public interest in this case continues to grow. ‘Everyone just wants answers. Nothing is surprising at this point.’
The FBI has now issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie in connection with the death of van-life girlfriend Gabby Petito, 22, whose body was found in a remote area of Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming on Sunday after she was reported missing. He is accused of using her credit card and allegedly spent $1,000 after she went missing.
Laundrie’s parents said he left their home on September 15 – but only reported him missing three days later. FBI and local police are still searching for him in Carlton Reserve, an alligator-infested reserve five miles from his home.
His silver Ford Mustang was also found abandoned near the Carlton Reserve with a note requesting it be towed away.
‘These guys, our law enforcement partners are motivated and they are hungry to find Brian Laundrie,’ North Port Police commander Joe Fussell, who is helping to coordinate the search, said Wednesday.
‘It’s rough out there, it’s hot, it’s wet. We are trying to cover every acre in this reserve.’
More than 50 cops have spent the past week scouring alligator-infested swampland in the nearby 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve at a cost of approximately $1.2 million without finding any trace of him
Laundrie’s weeklong disappearance into the 25,000-acre nature reserve is nothing compared to other solo trips he’s taken into the wilderness – including a hike on the Appalachian trail lasting three months, DailyMail.com has learned.
‘I know he lived in the Appalachians for what I believe was three months, and he did it by himself, so I know he’s skilled at it,’ said Petito’s best friend Rose Davis told DailyMail.com.
‘He and Gabby both told me stories about it,’ Rose added in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com. ‘And you could see the enthusiasm in his voice when he would talk about his adventures by himself like that trip into the Appalachians,’ a trail stretching more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine.
Rose said she met Gabby early last year on Bumble BFF, a meeting app for friends, and they instantly hit it off.
Rose, 21, who lives in Sarasota, said Laundrie often liked to be alone and didn’t appear to have any friends.
Even when he’d join her and Gabby at the beach in Florida, he’d go off to sit by himself.
She described him as a jealous and controlling, and said he’d try to prevent his fiancé from hanging out with her.
The couple had several brutal arguments in which Petito would drive off to spend the night at her house.
‘I think that’s one reason why Brian rushed into this van trip,’ Rose said of the cross-country trip Petito and Laundrie began in July. ‘He saw how close we were getting and he realized that after every fight, she was staying at my house. And he didn’t have control over that.’
The couple were filming their adventures for a ‘van-life’ YouTube channel Petito was creating.
Rose was planning to meet them in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park in September and had even asked her boss for days off for the trip. They were planning to lock in a specific date on August 29, Rose’s birthday, but Petito never called.
Laundrie returned home without Petito on September 1, and her family from Long Island reported her missing on September 11.
Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone
A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation and cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’
Rose said she was horrified when police then released details of an argument the couple had in Moab, Utah in early August, just days after Rose last spoke to her best friend.
‘I’m sure it caused an argument when Gabby told him I was going there soon because he knows dang well that if I saw them in a rocky place, I would take her home with me,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘I would be like screw this, you’re coming home with me. We’ll do this on our own some time.’
Rose had considered Laundrie a friend at one point, but said she now hopes he’ll be caught and made to suffer.
‘I hope he’s found and then I want him to get convicted and go to jail,’ she said. ‘I won’t go into detail with the rest that I want to have happen to him, him and his parents.’
During an interview with DailyMail.com on Friday, Rose went into detail about her friend’s increasingly combative relationship with Laundrie. She recalled that he allegedly went so far as to hide Petito’s ID once so that she couldn’t meet up with her at a bar, trigging a violent episode similar to the one police investigated Aug. 12.
‘Brian took her ID just so she wouldn’t be able to come out with me,’ she said.
‘He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these ‘episodes,’ where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep.
‘Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.’
Rose panicked when she learned that Laundrie had returned home from Wyoming without her best friend.
‘When I saw that Brian was back from the trip, that was the first thing that popped into my mind – that Brian had one of his episodes – and I was just hoping he didn’t have a snapping moment,’ Rose said.
Rose said she met Gabby early last year on Bumble BFF, a meeting app for friends, and they instantly hit it off.
‘Neither of us had any friends,’ Rose recalled, laughing.
‘She had texted me, saying: ‘You seem so cool. I really want to be your friend. Can we be friends?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I’d be happy to be your friend.’
‘We just went everywhere together,’ she said.
Gabby, who worked last year at Taco Bell and then took a job at a smoothie place, would sometimes join Rose when she was working her job delivering pizza.
‘We’d tell people she was my emotional service human,’ Rose giggled.
Rose got to know Laundrie early on when she’d visit their home in North Port.
‘I used to consider him a friend, for sure, because I’d hang out with them a good amount,’ she noted.
‘He had this composure as a sweet, nice, caring guy. But you could tell he’s a little off, a little weird. Like, he’d set up our hammocks when we’d go to beach, but wouldn’t sit with us, which I found bizarre.
‘Brian has a jealousy issue,’ Rose said. ‘I’m her only friend in Florida to my knowledge and that’s not because she can’t make friends, he just didn’t want her to have friends.’
Rose and Gabby were so close that they’d share their locations with each through an iPhone app ‘in case we got lost,’ Rose said. But when Laundrie found out, he made Gabby delete it, she said.
‘I didn’t push the issue because I didn’t want it to cause an argument with him,’ she said.
‘He was always worried she was going to leave him,’ she added. ‘It was a constant thing to try to get us to stop hanging out.
‘He’d demand she be home for dinner, often cut our time short. He’d demand to pick her up from my house, even when I had a car and offered to drive.’
She said the couple wouldn’t argue in front of her, but she could tell afterward. Gabby would appear upset, but he’d seem calm.
She said it was evident in the body camera footage police shared of an incident involving the two in Moab. A witness had called 911 after seeing the couple fighting.
When police pulled the couple over, Gabby was breathing heavily and crying, while Laundrie seemed composed, even as he exhibited scratch marks on his face.
Gabby was seen with tears streaming down her face, telling officers she ‘was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down’ and admitting the couple ‘have been fighting all morning.’
She also told cops that she suffers from OCD and anxiety. Both she and Laundrie also said she had been stressed about the YouTube blog they were working on about their cross-country trip.
Rose, who knew that her friend suffers from anxiety, said ‘for her anxiety to act up like that, there has to be a decent thing to trigger it. Something had to happen, or just a lot of things had to build up.’
‘I’m a little upset she didn’t just call me after that fight, because she would have before,’ Rose added.
Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case
- July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
- August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
- Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
- Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
- Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
- Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
- Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
- Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
- Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
- Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
- Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
- Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
- Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
- Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
- Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
- Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
- Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
- Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
- Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
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