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No, Brian Laundrie was not found in Sarasota County. Police say online posts are false

People who were apparently listening to police scanner traffic posted erroneously online that Gabby Petito’s fiancé had been captured.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE (Sept. 23, 2021): A federal arrest warrant was issued for Brian Laundrie following a grand jury indictment in connection with the Gabby Petito case. Click here for the latest information.

Previous story below:

As the search for Brian Laundrie continues so does speculation on social media about his whereabouts.

Laundrie, 23, has been missing for nearly a week after returning to his family's North Port home without his fiancée Gabby Petito, 22, following a cross-country trip. He is currently a person of interest in the case.

As of Wednesday morning, he had not been located and taken into custody despite online rumors suggesting otherwise.

THE QUESTION

Was Brian Laundrie captured Tuesday evening in Sarasota County?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Brian Laundrie was not captured Tuesday evening in Sarasota County, the North Port Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

WHAT WE FOUND

Users on social media, citing unconfirmed police scanner traffic, posted Tuesday evening that Brian Laundrie had been found and taken into custody.

In response to the erroneous claims, the North Port Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota Police Department issued statements.

“Despite rumors on social media this evening, Brian Laundrie is not in the custody of our agency at this time,” the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

The agency acknowledged it had received reports of “suspected sightings;" however, none have been accurate.

The Sarasota Police Department posted a similar tweet Wednesday morning.

“We have received a significant amount of requests tonight regarding a possible capture of Brian Laundrie,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor said Tuesday evening.

“These reports are unfortunately false. Please rest assured that when Brian is found, we will be more than happy to let everyone know.”

While investigators continue to comb through the difficult terrain of Carlton Reserve in search of Laundrie, there have been many claims of Laundrie sightings miles away from where law enforcement is conducting its search.

One viral claim placed Laundrie in Florida's Panhandle. The social media post said a man who was caught by a trail camera in Baker, Florida, strongly matched Laundrie's description. The person who made the post added that authorities were contacted.

Update: The OCSO did its due diligence in response to this report and is wrapping up an extensive search that took place...

Posted by Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said it wrapped up its "extensive search" of the area and found nothing of note.

"The individual referenced in the post below has no known ties to our area," the sheriff's office said.

There've also been unconfirmed sightings of Laundrie in Alabama. Local police there say they forwarded tips to federal investigators to verify.

   

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