NORTH PORT, Fla. — The homicide of Gabby Petito and later disappearance of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in her case, prompted a prominent Florida attorney to put a $20,000 bounty on his whereabouts.
"I think a missing child is every parent's worst nightmare," the lawyer and mother of two, Tatiana Boohoff, told Fox News Friday. "Our hearts go out to her family and to the community, and we hope that together we can get some answers and get justice for Gabby."
Public scrutiny fell heavily on Laundrie, 23, who was the 22-year-old Petito’s fiancé when her mom reported her missing on Sept. 11, well before authorities discovered her remains in Wyoming. The young woman may have last been seen alive in public at a Jackson Hole restaurant on Aug. 27.
Laundrie pulled into his parents’ driveway in her van on the morning of Sept. 1. Since then, he and his family have refused to answer any questions from police or the media regarding Petito – who'd lived in their home for two years.
Ten days later, North Port, Fla., police found Petito’s van at the Laundrie family home, on the same day as the missing person report, and seized it as evidence.
But on Friday, Sept. 17, police returned to the house only for Landrie’s parents to tell them they hadn’t seen their son since Tuesday, Sept. 14, and that they believed he was missing. Petito’s family attorney has maintained that he’s in hiding.
The timeline of events rubbed Boohoof – whose children are 7 and 17 – the wrong way. So she’s giving to "the first person to supply information leading directly to the exact whereabouts" of Laundrie.
Dog the Bounty Hunter arrived at Brian Laundrie’s parents’ home Saturday, knocked on the door and met silence, but he told Fox News he's already picked up a scent.
"The reason I went to Mr. [Christopher] Laundrie is I carry a reputation with me," he told Fox News. "The reputation is, ‘He gives you a second chance. He’s gonna get you, but he gives you a second chance.’"
The reality TV star and legendary bounty hunter, whose real name is Duane Chapman, is a father of 13 who lost a daughter around the same age as Gabby Petito in a car accident in 2006. He was already in Florida on a honeymoon with his wife Francie Chapman, he said, when people began reaching out to him to look into Laundrie’s disappearance.
"I know what the victims feel like," he said.
On Aug. 27 a New Orleans couple witnessed Laundrie arguing with female wait staff at Merry Piglets, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Wyoming, and that Petito, visibly upset, at one point apologized to the workers.
That move likely led to an explosive argument right before Petito’s homicide, according to Utah attorney Susanne Gustin, who said the incidents show telltale signs of a possible domestic abuser in Laundrie’s behavior.
The FBI on Thursday announced a federal arrest warrant on debit card fraud charges against Laundrie for allegedly accessing someone else’s account between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 – after Petito died by homicide in the Teton Range in Wyoming.
Police are searching the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Florida for Laundrie – but many are speculating that he’s fled the area.
Anyone who sees him is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
A memorial service for Petito was held Sunday on Long Island. At least 1,000 people attended the service, according to Fox News.
Joseph Petito, Gabby's father, called his daughter "the most amazing person I've ever met."
"I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby," Petito said at the service. "If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now."