Breaking News
More () »

Laundrie family visited Ft. De Soto campsite in early September, attorney says

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" received a tip that the Laundries were spotted at the park after Brian returned home from the cross-country trip.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A park ranger confirmed reports that Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman was at Fort De Soto Park on Monday, but the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says it isn't conducting an investigation there.

Chapman told Fox News he received a tip that Brian Laundrie and his parents spent the night on the campgrounds twice in the early days of September.

Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino confirmed that Chris, Roberta and Brian checked into the Fort De Soto campsite on Sept. 6 and checked out on Sept. 7.

A Pinellas County spokesperson also said that a person by the name of Roberta Laundrie had checked into the campsite. Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources payment records also show a person named Roberta Laundrie booked and then canceled a stay for Sept. 1-3 at the campsite.

"They’re on camera. They were here," Chapman told the news outlet. "We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp."

The "swamp" Chapman is referring to is Sarasota County's Carlton Reserve, where search teams combed through nearly 25,000 acres of thick, muddy vegetation for more than a week in hopes of finding Gabby Petito's missing fiancé.

Law enforcement had been focusing their search in the reserve because, according to his family, that's where Laundrie is believed to have been last. The FBI is now leading the search at Carlton Reserve, with a more "targeted" and "scaled-back" approach.    

Chapman visited the Laundrie home Saturday in North Port, knocking on the door with no answer to follow.

Chapman feels confident Laundrie was at Ft. De Soto. He told Fox News he heard that the Laundrie's entered the park with their son on Sept. 6 but left without him on Sept. 8.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office told 10 Tampa Bay that deputies are "unaware of any confirmed sightings of Brian" at Ft. De Soto.

Ft. De Soto is the largest park in Pinellas County, consisting of 1,136 acres that make up five islands. Unlike Carlton Reserve's swampy wetlands, it has a beach landscape with mangroves and palm hammocks.

The search for Laundrie has gained national attention, as people look for answers to Petito's death.

Petito and Laundrie left on a cross-country road trip in July, only for Laundrie to return to North Port on Sept. 1 without his fiancée, according to police.

A body found in Wyoming's Grand Teton National park on Sept. 19 was later confirmed to be of the 22-year-old. Petito's cause of death was initially ruled a homicide. 

Laundrie, who is the sole person of interest in this case, has not been found since his parents reported him missing on Sept. 17.

Before You Leave, Check This Out