Authorities have investigated a possible sighting of Brian Laundrie – a person of interest in the case of his murdered fiance Gabby Petito – 800km away from his home in Florida.
The couple had been travelling cross-country in a converted van when Gabby stopped making contact with her family in late August.
Her family reported her missing on September 11, but unbeknownst to them, police say Laundrie, 23, had driven the van back to his parent’s home in North Port, Florida, alone, on September 1.
Gabby’s remains were discovered by law enforcement agents in an undeveloped camping area within the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Monday. The coroner has determined her manner of death as homicide.
Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case, but his location is “unknown”.
Authorities had been searching Florida’s Carlton Reserve across the weekend after his family reported him missing on Friday.
They told police he had left home with a backpack to go for a hike at the reserve and never returned.
On Tuesday, a Florida resident claimed to have seen a man that matched Laundrie’s description, toting a backpack on Monday morning near the town of Baker, Florida, about 800km away from his 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,” Sam Bass wrote on Facebook.
“Authorities have been contacted but people in the North West Florida area be on the lookout.”
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was “aware” of the report and was “actively checking it out”, but later said “nothing of note was located”.
“The OCSO did its due diligence in response to this report and is wrapping up an extensive search that took place in this area to also include nearby farmlands and a search by drone,” the sheriff’s office said.
“No one – and nothing – of note was located.
“There are no known possible past or current connections between Laundrie and anyone in this area at this time to follow up on.”
It said police would “remain vigilant” and “if anything new of significance develops we will share”.
– with NBC