***UPDATE AT BOTTOM***
Gabby Petito’s body was recovered in the last place she was thought to be before she went missing: Grand Teton National Park.
We’re still waiting to hear about the autopsy results to find out exactly how she died.
UPDATE: The medical examiner has ruled Gabby’s death a homicide. We still don’t know how she died.
The FBI confirms that the body discovered at a Wyoming national park was that of 22-year-old Gabby Petito whose boyfriend is wanted for questioning. The local coroner says the manner of death was homicide. https://t.co/FlNzUGHqqf
— NPR (@NPR) September 21, 2021
In the meantime, authorities continue to search for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who took off and went on the run right after police named him a “person of interest” in the case.
Brian’s parents believe he went into the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature reserve near the family’s home in North Port, Florida.
But a new photo from a “Deer Camera” has just shaken everything up.
A man in Baker, Florida, about 500 miles away from Brian’s home in North Port, says he captured someone who looks very much like Brian on his Deer Cam.
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What’s a “Deer Cam” for those who don’t know?….well, it’s a remote camera, also known as a “trail camera” or “game camera.” It’s placed in areas where the hunter generally cannot be. When a deer or other animal comes into the area, the camera’s motion sensors direct it to take photos and video.
They are time-stamped, so you’ll know when the game comes to the area. Many of them can also be configured to send pictures and videos to your smartphone in real-time.
The New York Post reported that authorities in Florida said Tuesday they are “actively” investigating deer camera footage that captured a hiker resembling Gabby Petito’s missing boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, trekking through the wilderness.
Sam Bass said he spotted the man toting a backpack at 6:17 a.m. Monday in the town of Baker, Fla., about 500 miles away from Laundrie’s home in North Port.
“I’m not saying this is the guy but whoever was on my trail camera this morning in Baker, Fl strongly fits the description of Brian Laundrie,” Bass wrote on Facebook. “Authorities have been contacted but people in the North West Florida area be on the look out.”
Laundrie, who is a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, was reported missing by his parents on Friday.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over Baker, confirmed that they were looking into the possible sighting.
Also, Governor DeSantis has stepped in to help:
At the request of @NorthPortPolice, @MyFWC law enforcement has been assisting in the search for Brian Laundrie. I have directed all state agencies under my purview to continue to assist federal & local law enforcement as they continue to search – we need justice for Gabby Petito.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 21, 2021
Here’s the photo from the Deer Camera:
I will say this much it certainly looks like it could be Brian, the build, and the overall look fit.
And to make matters more interesting, social media sleuths have pointed out that the man’s backpack in the Deer Cam photo is very similar to a backpack pictured in Laundrie’s Instagram Stories.
Well, we can now confirm that the person walking in the forest captured by the Deer Cam was NOT Brian Laundrie:
Fox 10 News reported that the OCSO confirmed the man is an Okaloosa County resident who acknowledged he was the one walking on the deer trail carrying his backpack.
The following is a Facebook post posted on the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has positively identified the individual whose image was captured on a deer trail camera near Baker and shared on social media, sparking nationwide speculation that it was missing North Port Florida resident Brian Laundrie.
The OCSO has confirmed the man is an Okaloosa County resident who acknowledged he was the one walking on the deer trail carrying his backpack. Several OCSO deputies familiar with the individual noticed the resemblance to the photo of the person spotted on the deer trail, as well as the presence of a neck tattoo.
The private citizen was located and a positive identification has been made.
During its search and investigation, the OCSO found no indications that Brian Laundrie is, or was, in Okaloosa County.
Wow, what a crazy coinkydink that a guy who looks so much like Laundrie and had a similar backpack was hiking by himself early in the morning. Very bizarre, but it clearly was not Brian.
The search continues…
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