Mercury (Hobart)

Picture puzzles police

New photo lead of ‘missing man’ sought after his girlfriend vanished


Police are looking into whether a mobile phone image taken of a man is that of Brian Laundrie, who vanished this week after being named a person of interest in the disappeara­nce of his fiancee.

Authoritie­s say the man in the photo looks a “heck” of a lot like the boyfriend of missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito, according to the New York Post. The photo was taken just before 5pm on Friday

in North Port, Florida – about two blocks from the home of Laundrie’s parents.

The image shows an apparently baldheaded, clean-shaven man with what officials suggest is a similar build to Laundrie casually walking down the street in thongs.

It was taken by passer-by Zachary Randazzo about an hour and a half before investigat­ors from the North Port Police Department showed up at Laundrie’s parents’ home after their lawyer called the FBI to report him missing. North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said officers were investigat­ing the photo.

The man in the photo appears to have tattoos on his left arm, which Laundrie does not, Mr Taylor said.

“Other than that, (the person) sure as heck looks like him,” Mr Taylor said.

Police have been on a manhunt for Laundrie in T. Mabry Carlton Reserve, a nearby Sarasota County wildlife refuge.

Laundrie had been silent about Ms Petito’s disappeara­nce since returning to their Florida home alone on September 1 after the two went on a summertime road trip.

His family told police they haven’t seen him since Tuesday, when he told them he was headed to the nature reserve.

Ms Petito’s family last heard from the 22-year-old woman via text message on August 30.

But her mother previously said she doesn’t believe she was the one who sent it.

Ms Petito last called her family from Grand Teton National Park, which neighbours Yellowston­e National Park, on August 25.

The FBI is now looking for both Laundrie and Ms Petito.

 ??  ?? Gabby Petito with Laundrie.
Gabby Petito with Laundrie.

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