What to Know
- The FBI's prime person of interest in Gabby Petito's disappearance, her fiancé Brian Laundrie, has been missing for nearly three weeks
- The 23-year-old vanished after allegedly telling his family he was going for a hike in a Florida nature preserve on Sept. 14; his parents have called any rumors they helped him flee "just wrong"
- Petito's body was found in a remote area of a Wyoming park the couple visited last month; her death has been ruled a homicide, though exactly how she died is a question pending additional forensic study
A local sheriff's office in North Carolina said Monday that it investigated "a number of calls" over the last few days regarding possible sightings of Brian Laundrie, the FBI's prime person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancé Gabby Petito.
Each call was checked out thoroughly and areas of concern, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, according to media reports, were extensively searched, but nothing was found, the Haywood County Sheriff's Office said in a Twitter post.
"We will continue to respond and fully investigate all calls for service related to the nationwide search for Mr. Laundrie within our jurisdiction," it continued on Facebook.
One of the 911 calls was made by a man who claimed he saw Laundrie driving a newer model white truck, and that the two spoke. The caller said that the man he believed to be Laundrie drove up and was waving his arm out of his window, seemingly to ask the man to slow down and talk.
The caller said that the man in the truck "was talking wild, he said that his girlfriend loved him and that he had to go out to California to see her." He then asked how to get to California before taking off. The man said that he wasn't sure what Laundrie looked like, but after looking at a photo, said he was "99 percent sure that was him."
Similar reports have flooded law enforcement offices from as far away as Canada to Alabama, Montana and elsewhere as the public aims to help law enforcement solve the mystery of what happened to the 23-year-old from North Port, Florida.
Laundrie vanished nearly three weeks ago, on Sept. 14, after allegedly telling his parents he was going for a hike in a sprawling Florida nature reserve. There hasn't been a confirmed sighting of him since, at least as far as the FBI is publicly aware.
Scores of law enforcement hours, both federal, local and state, have been spent searching the unforgivable terrain of the Carlton Preserve, which Laundrie's parents said he told them he was going to visit just before he disappeared. Again, there have been no signs of Laundrie's visit, leading a growing number of people captivated by Petito and Laundrie's story to wonder if the young man is still alive.
And if he is, where could he be now?
Where Is Brian Laundrie?
More coverage on the Gabby Petito case that captivated the nation
It took a little more than a week for investigators to find the remains of Petito in a Wyoming park she and Laundrie had visited before he returned to Florida alone in the white van the couple had taken on a cross-country road trip.
The young woman's death has been ruled a homicide, meaning she was killed by another person, but how exactly she died remains a question pending further study.
It could take weeks before final autopsy results are issued -- and possibly longer before the public is permitted to be aware of the findings.
Laundrie does have an outstanding federal arrest warrant out for him -- one that charges him with a single count of unauthorized debit card usage but one that would allow law enforcement to hold him for a period of time if they can find him.
While law enforcement hasn't publicly speculated on whether they believe Laundrie to still be alive, Petito's family hasn't stopped direct pleas to him: "Turn yourself in."
The 22-year-old woman's mother issued that same plea once again this past weekend as Petito's family joined Twitter to share emotional messages and photos -- part of their bid to keep her memory alive and propel her "light" forward.
Mom Nichole Schmidt wrote simply, "Mama bear is getting angry! Turn yourself in!"
The FBI continues to solicit tips by phone and online regarding the potential whereabouts of Laundrie or any other details on the couple.