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Arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie as search continues in 25,000-acre swamp

(Cowboy State Daily)

By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
(this story originally appeared on Cowboy State Daily

An arrest warrant has been issued for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who was found dead in the Bridger Teton National Forest on Sunday.

The FBI announced on Thursday afternoon that the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie “pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment related to Mr. Laundrie’s activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito.”

“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Special Agent Michael Schneider said.

The warrant does not seek Laundrie’s arrest in connection with Petito’s death. Instead, he is being arrested for the unlawful use of a credit card after Petito was killed.

The single-count indictment alleges that from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, Laundrie “knowingly and with intent to defraud, used one or more unauthorized access devices, namely a Capital One Bank debit card […] and a personal identification number for Capital One Bank accounts.” Through that illegal conduct, the indictment alleges, Laundrie “obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more.”

Laundrie’s lawyer made sure to bring this bit of detail to the press.

“The arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities  occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise,” Steven Bertolino said.

However, the search for Laundrie continues.

Although he made it home to his parents’ house in Florida two weeks ago, he was reported missing late last week.

Adam Walsh, host of the television show “America’s Most Wanted” and a longtime victims’ rights advocate, told USA Today that law enforcement in Florida erred, stating that the police should have kept an eye on the house and followed Laundrie if he left.

“”All these mistakes were made on my son Adam’s case, and similar mistakes were made in this case,” said Walsh, whose son Adam was abducted and found murdered in 1981. “It’s pretty damn sad.”

Authorities think Laundrie may be located in the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre swamp he told his parents he was headed to.

“We’ve deployed numerous resources and we are trying to cover every acre in this preserve,” Joe Fussell said, a police commander in Florida.

Besides the hundreds of searchers, drones, dogs, and dive teams are looking for the 23-year-old.

For all things Wyoming, visit Cowboy State Daily online at cowboystatedaily.com and signup for the Cowboy State Coffee Break. Reprinted with permission of Cowboy State Daily. Copyright 2021.