GABBY Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, has been missing since September 14, when he told his family he was going for a hike in Florida’s Carlton Preserve.
As the manhunt for Laundrie continues, the reward for tips on his whereabouts has increased to $30,000, which caught the eye of one famed bounty hunter.
Who is Dog the Bounty Hunter, and what does he do?
Dog the Bounty Hunter, born Duane Lee Chapman, is an American television personality star, bounty hunter and former bail bondsman.
Chapman, 68, rose to fame as a bounty hunter in 2003, after his successful capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico.
Factor fled the United States in the middle of his trial on charges of drugging and raping several women.
Luster had been convicted in absentia on 86 counts, including multiple rape charges connected to assaults in 1996, 1997, and 2000.
Chapman was assisted by his “hunt team,” which consisted of his son, Leland, and an associate, Tim.
The three bounty hunters captured Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they had been living under assumed names.
The following year, Chapman was given his series, Dog the Bounty Hunter, on A&E.
After Dog the Bounty Hunter ended in 2014, Chapman appeared in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, a similarly formatted TV show, alongside his wife and business partner, Beth, on CMT.
His series Dog’s Most Wanted debuted on WGN America in late 2019.
Is Dog the Bounty Hunter searching for Brian Laundrie?
New drone footage captured on September 25 showed Dog the Bounty Hunter at Laundrie’s family home as he joined the search to track down the 23-year-old missing fugitive.
On September 25, the TV star said on the “heart goes out” to the family of homicide victim Gabby Petito, and he “wants to help bring justice for her death.”
In an interview with the New York Post, Dog the Bounty Hunter promised to catch Laundrie before his 24th birthday on November 18.
He told The Post that he’s already received hundreds of tips on his 833-TELLDOG hotline – many of which point to Laundrie being somewhere along the Appalachian Trail.
“That is the most leads coming in right now that say that,” Dog told The Post.
“[Gabby’s] friend Rose [Davis] said she was 100 percent sure and more that because of his past, being there for two months at a time that she said ‘I’m telling you right now that’s where he headed,’” the 68-year-old bounty hunter said.
“That’s what he does. He’s a wilderness guy.”
Chapman added that he isn’t convinced that Laundrie is in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his home that is being extensively searched by authorities.
Dog doesn’t believe that Laundrie killed himself, saying the fugitive doesn’t strike him as a “violent guy” in any of the video footage released of the couple during the investigation.
The TV star also accused Laundrie’s parents of having helped him escape, pointing out that Gabby’s body was found in Wyoming, a capital punishment state.
Laundrie could potentially face the death penalty if he were slapped with a murder charge and ultimately convicted.
“That’s their baby … This is not going to jail for 20 years. This is execution,” he said.
Chapman said the goal is to find Laundrie’s “starting point” entrance into the state-stretching nature trail.
“I want anyone with information on Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts to call me at 833-TELLDOG,” he told the Post.
He said he would cooperate with authorities but keep the names of any informants confidential.