- Police in several states are fielding suspected sightings of Brian Laundrie.
- None of these have turned out to be him. Police also debunked rumors that he had been caught.
- A body in Mobile, Alabama, and a walker heading towards Mississippi sparked particular interest.
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Police around the US debunked a flurry of reported sightings of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend who is a person of interest in the killing of Gabby Petito.
Rumors and suspected sightings have spanned from Florida to Alabama, but no investigations have borne fruit.
22-year-old Gabby Petito was found dead in a camping area in a Wyoming national park Sunday. Her identity was confirmed Tuesday, and officials determined her death a homicide, ending a two-week-long missing person search.
Laundrie returned from a joint road trip on September 1 without Petito and refused to help authorities after she was declared missing on September 11.
As of September 14, Laundrie himself has been missing, sparking a manhunt that first focused on the Sarasota, Florida national park where he was last believed to have gone hiking.
Mobile, Alabama also became a hotbed of rumored sightings on Monday, despite the fact that Laundrie had no known connection to the area.
Police received more than a dozen tips, though none of them panned out, according to FOX10 News.
The parking lot of a Walmart on Tillman’s Corner, Mobile, became the subject of intense interest Monday over several reported sightings. That intensified after a body was found in the parking lot’s dumpster, local outlet WAFF48 reported.
—Nicolette Schleisman (@Nicolette_News) September 20, 2021
According to NBC15, which set up a Facebook livestream of the area, thousands of people nationwide watched the scene. The body turned out to be of a local homeless man, the network reported.
Police also requested security footage of a nearby restaurant, according to WAFF48.
As of Monday, police were unable to confirm any of the sightings, according to WKRG reporter Nicolette Schleisman.
Capt. Paul Burch of the Mobile Police Department told FOX10 that officers checked out “each and every call,” including seven about a man walking along Interstate 10 towards Mississippi.
Police ended up giving the walker a ride to the Mississippi state line just to stop the calls, FOX10 said.
Rumors that Laundrie is in custody debunked
North Port Police, the agency which has led operation in around Laundrie’s Florida home, said in an early Wednesday email that rumors Laundrie was in their custody were untrue, according to NewsNation reporter Brian Entin.
—Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 22, 2021
In Sarasota, Florida — around 35 miles from North Port — the sheriff’s office also countered rumors that Laundrie had been apprehended, despite many reports.
“Despite rumors on social media this evening, #BrianLaundrie is NOT IN THE CUSTODY of our agency at this time,” wrote Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman in a tweet.
—SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) September 22, 2021