Television personality Duane Lee Chapman, better known as “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” has joined the manhunt for Brian Laundrie, the fugitive boyfriend of slain Long Island native Gabby Petito.
The reality TV star was seen banging on the screen door of the North Port, Florida, home where Petito and Laundrie lived with his parents on Saturday.
Laundrie, 23, vanished Sept. 14, three days after Petito’s family reported her missing. The couple had been on a cross-country van trip visiting national parks when her family became suspicious after she stopped calling, but sent several incongruous texts.
Her body was found Sept. 19 at a campground in Wyoming’s Bridger Teton National Forest, not far from Grand Teton National Park.
Wednesday, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie, based on his suspected use of Petito’s debit card on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, presumably as he drove back to Florida in Petito’s van. He is the only person of interest in the death of Petito that the FBI has named.
“Dog and [his wife] Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves. Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family and want to help bring justice for her death,” their representative said in a statement.
While Chapman was trying to connect with Laundrie’s parents, dozens of law enforcement officers continued to comb through a swampy, 25,000-acre nature reserve where he went for a hike and never returned.
“I want anyone with information on Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts to call me at 833-TELLDOG,” he said in the statement. He said he will cooperate with authorities but keep the names of any informants confidential.