The home of missing Brian Laundrie was suddenly surrounded by cops tonight as officers probed reports of gunshots and quizzed his mother over a possible disturbance.
Amid tense scenes a dozen police vehicles swamped the family residence in North Port Florida at 6:45pm on Friday night and ordered onlookers to stand back.
An officer was seen racing into a neighbors’ yard and peering over the fence into the home where parents Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55, have been holed up since reporting their fugitive son missing in the wake of Gabby Petito’s homicide.
Moments later Roberta opened the front door and spoke anxiously to an officer who was overheard asking her about a ‘disturbance’. He left several minutes later.
Police colleagues meanwhile knocked on the adjacent homes and asked similar questions, asking one if they had heard a ‘loud bang’ coming from a wooded area behind the Laundries’ yard.
Police later confirmed that the 911 call was being investigated as a possible prank.
The home of missing Brian Laundrie was suddenly surrounded by cops tonight as officers probed reports of gunshots and quizzed his mother over a possible disturbance
Moments later Roberta opened the front door and spoke anxiously to an officer who was overheard asking her about a ‘disturbance’. He left several minutes later
Police colleagues meanwhile knocked on the adjacent homes and asked similar questions, asking one if they had heard a ‘loud bang’ coming from a wooded area behind the Laundries’ yard
Gabby Petitio’s body was found in the Spread Creek campsite in Wyoming on Sunday and the next day her death was ruled a homicide
‘They asked me whether we heard a disturbance or anything like that,’ said next-door neighbor Keith Graves, 52.
‘I figured it was a prank or something like that’
Another neighbor, who declined to be named added: ‘Somebody reported a loud bang and police came running into the back yard.
‘We didn’t hear anything. They were looking into the woods behind. I think it may be connected to the land behind the house.’
The incident was soon determined to be a false alarm and the dozens of cops who lined the street were stood down.
A spokesman for the North Port Police Department said: ‘At 6:45pm NPPD received a report of gunshots in the area of Brian Landries’ home from unknown.
‘No injuries are reported. Right now, no evidence any shots were actually fired in the area. No reports from the large contingency of media who were standing outside the home, either.’
The incident was soon determined to be a false alarm and the dozens of cops who lined the street were stood down. A spokesman for the North Port Police Department said: ‘At 6:45pm NPPD received a report of gunshots in the area of Brian Landries’ home from unknown
Police later confirmed that the 911 call was being investigated as a possible prank
FBI and North Port police wrapped up their sixth day of searching for Laundrie, 23, in in alligator-infested Florida swampland that has so far cost an estimated $1.2million – and with no trace of him, a search and rescue expert has exclusively told DailyMail.com.
Mike Hadsell – who knows the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve search area intimately – added that Laundrie’s parents could face the bill if it’s proven they deceived police by wrongly telling them it’s where he said he was heading last time they saw him.
More than 50 searchers from the FBI plus cops in Laundrie’s home town of North Port and several other law enforcement agencies are on their sixth day hunting for him in the highly dangerous and dense swampland.
On Friday night, North Port Police said they will continue the search for him throught the weekend.
They added: ‘The question about costs have come up a lot today. We do not have that tallied up. We are not paying other agencies, it’s mutual aid. From our personnel standpoint, I would say we are working this case instead of other things. That has an impact of course. There will be some overtime mixed in there. Cost of fuel and vehicle maintenance too. Almost every meal we’ve had at the PD has been made by family or donated. Every meal for those working out in the field has been donated by generous citizens and businesses. We have a special community.’
The FBI has now issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie, 23, in connection with the death of van-life girlfriend Gabby Petito, 22, whose body was found in a remote area of Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming on Sunday after she was reported missing.
Brian Laundrie, 23, who was reported missing last week, remains a person of interest in the disappearance and death of fiancée Gabby Petito. The manhunt for Laundrie has cost about $1.2million as it enters its sixth day, DailyMail.com can reveal
Laundrie is considered a person of interest in her disappearance and death, which has been ruled a homicide.
Gabby last spoke to her family on August 25 from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. She had been traveling with Laundrie in the couple’s camper van since July and the two were meant to return home in October.
Laundrie, however, traveled back to his family’s North Port, Florida home on September 1 without Gabby, and refused to speak to authorities about her disappearance.
On Wednesday, neighbors revealed that they had seen Laundrie and his parents packing an ‘attached camper’ used for their long-weekend camping trips after he returned to the home.
Charlene and William Guthrie claim they saw the Laundries hook up the camper to the back of their pickup truck for a weekend trip away on September 11 – the same day Gabby was reported missing.
The family would have returned about two days later as DailyMail.com photos show the camper back in the driveway on September 13.
When police contacted the Guthries, William told them about the family’s trip, noting that it was unusual for Christopher and Roberta to go off in such a small camper with their 23-year-old son.
‘I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper,’ William told Fox News.
The Gunthries added that living next to the Laundries has become a nightmare since Gabby and later Laundrie went missing, with police and reporters roaming the neighborhood for nearly a month investigating the case.
The Laundrie family were initially reluctant to cooperate with the investigation until Brian went missing last week.
Police divers joined the search for Laundrie as more than 50 law enforcement officers from eight agencies continued to comb the 25,000-acre alligator and snake-infested swampland of Carlton Reserve, near the Laundrie home.
Laundrie was believed to be hiding out in his parents’ Florida home until September 14, when he purportedly set off on a hike at the local nature reserve.
His family said they last saw him that day wearing a hiking bag, but did not report him missing until three days later, on September 17.
His silver Ford Mustang was also found abandoned near the Carlton Reserve with a note requesting it be towed away.
Search teams from multiple law enforcement agencies gathered Wednesday for a briefing before heading out into the 25,000-acre swampland
Police divers joined the search for Brian Laundrie just before noon Wednesday with an airboat and dinghy
North Port Police Commander Joe Fussell, who is helping coordinate the teams, countered criticism of the search.
‘We are not wasting our time out here,’ he said. ‘We are doing our due diligence to find Brian in an area that intelligence had led to us that he could possibly be in.
‘So it is upon us to make sure we search this area as best as we can, massive as it is, we the resources that we have to try to find Brian.’
Speaking inside the Carlton Reserve on a police video update of the hunt, he explained the pressures searchers are under.
‘The staff that are out there searching, the get home and they’re exhausted,’ he said. ‘They’re out here working as hard as they can. I tell you the only break they have during the day is when they come back to get a bite to eat. And then they go back into the wilderness and they hit it hard again.
‘When they get home, they shower, wash off the dirt from the day and that is probably about the amount of energy that they have before they have to wake up and come back out the next day.
‘This is wearing on everyone. Everyone has a level of stress, everybody has the drive. And that’s really what’s carrying us through.
It’s the drive to try to find Brian and try to bring closure to this investigation.’
‘We’re looking through wooded areas, we’re looking through bodies of water, we’re looking through swampy areas. We have air units, we have drones, we have the swamp buggies, air boats, multiple law enforcement agencies, we have ATVs, UTVs and we have officers on foot as well.
‘We are deploying every resource to get through any terrain we encounter in our search areas.’