Brian Laundrie bought burner phone at ATT store on day he disappeared according to the FBI in seized surveillance footage. Speculation mounts missing man’s mother is communicating with fugitive son who is thought to also gone to store with her son.
FBI agents seized surveillance footage from the store as reports surface that Laundrie may have visited the outlet with an older woman on September 14.
This is the day Laundrie reportedly left his parents’ home to go for a hike, which is three days after Laundrie’s girlfriend, Gabby Petito was reported missing.
The seizure comes as internet sleuths have noticed changes to his social media accounts and Lyssa Chapman — daughter of Dog the Bounty Hunter who joined the nationwide search for the 23-year-old on Saturday — confirmed that the FBI believes Laundrie’s mother, Roberta, is also using a burner phone.
The North Port AT&T store declined to comment on whether Laundrie and Roberta visited the establishment, telling the dailymail: ‘We are not confirming or denying anything and we are not making any statements.’
Is FBI in possession of burner phone?
However, the Laundries’ attorney, Steven Bertolino did tell TMZ the family purchased a new phone but he ‘believes it’s the one Brian left behind at home’ and notes that the ‘FBI is already in possession of it’.
Bertolino’s comment echoes a previous statement he made to Insider, stating that investigators were in possession of the device. The lawyer claims the 23-year-old left his wallet and cell phone at his family’s home before leaving the residence on September 14. The whereabouts of his Petito’s phone remain unknown.
Dog the Bounty Hunter, who currently has boat and ground crews searching the area, says the 1,136 acre park — which is made up of five interconnected islands — is the ‘perfect spot’ for Laundrie to hide.
‘This would be and could be a perfect spot for him to hide, not too many people out here, but there’s a lot of environmental things that we’re gonna fight,’ Dog said in a video posted to Twitter.
‘The search now is really on. The search has just begun.’
The TV reality star – real name Duane Chapman, 68 – has been aboard a boat and working with his own teams around the Fort De Soto site located about 75 miles from the North Port home Laundrie shared with dad Christopher, 62, and mom Roberta, 55.
‘He’s working on very strong leads today,’ said the former bail bondsman’s spokesperson Jennifer Willingham. ‘This could very well be the last day of the hunt to apprehend Brian Laundrie.
‘He’s been using a boat. But we don’t want other folk piling in with their boats in the area. He’s following specific information.’
Dog has also called in K9 teams to assist with his search, which he plans to continue into the evening.
‘It doesn’t matter who catches him,’ Dog said Wednesday afternoon. ‘We just want to do everything we can to help bring Brian in safely.’
Laundrie is a person of interest in the homicide of his 22-year-old fiancée, Gabby Petito. The couple embarked on a cross-country road trip in July, but on September 1, Laundrie returned home to Florida without Petito. She was reported missing on September 11, and her remains were discovered near a Wyoming campsite on September 19.
The newly seized surveillance footage could help investigators piece together what took place in the days ahead of Laundrie’s disappearance.
Family lawyer confirms camping trip to Florida state park
On Tuesday, Bertolino confirmed that all three Laundrie family members went camping in a Florida national park just five days before his fiancée Gabby Petito was reported missing.
Bertolino said the family camped together at Fort De Soto from September 6, leaving together the following day.
‘They all left the park,’ Bertolino said, according to Fox 13.
Dog the Bounty Hunter, who has joined the search for Laundrie, said Monday night that Laundrie’s parents spent the night in Fort De Soto in Pinellas County, Florida, from September 1 to 3, staying in spot number 1.
They returned again with Brian to stay on spot 15 from September 6 to 8, and left without him, Dog claims.
Records did not show the Laundrie family staying at the park from September 1 to 3.
After first saying: ‘I will no longer give that dog credibility or dignify his false claims with the time of my reply,’ Bertolino confirmed the family had stayed at the site, though he gave the dates as being from September 6 to 7.
If Dog’s claims are accurate, Brian could have had a week head-start before he was named a person of interest on September 15.
The confirmation of the camping trip comes amid growing speculation that Laundrie’s mother could be using a burner phone as the hunt for her son – the prime suspect in Petito’s murder – continues.
Is Brian Laundrie mother using burner phone?
Reporters in Tampa approached the FBI after internet sleuths showed screen grabs of Dog the Bounty Hunter’s daughter Lyssa Chapman appearing to confirm the FBI believe Roberta Laundrie is using a burner phone.
It has not been suggested that she is using the burner phone to communicate with her son.
‘We do not confirm or deny contact with any individual or entity in order to preserve their privacy, as such, we do not confirm or deny the receipt of any tip. We have no additional comment,’ the FBI said, according to 10 Tampa Bay reporter Shannon Clowe.
Lyssa Chapman tweeted that the FBI confirmed the accusations that Roberta is in possession of a burner phone but did not present any evidence of the confirmation.
The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, had ‘no comment.’
Internet sleuths have claimed that Brian is using a burner phone after allegedly noticing changes to his Instagram and Spotify accounts since he disappeared two weeks ago.
His Instagram account reportedly went live for three seconds on Monday showing waves and just a peak of an olive green boat, according to Inside Edition.
The account also reportedly unfollowed several people.
There have also been claims online that Brian’s Spotify playlist name changed from ‘Selfconsomption’ to ‘Nomatic Statik.’ The playlist was reportedly created after Petito’s disappearance.
Brian has been named a person of interest in the investigation into his fiancée’s death. Her remains were found in Wyoming and her death ruled a homicide after she was reported missing on September 11.
Dog the Bounty Hunter joined the search for Brian on Saturday and was quickly flooded with tips, one of which claimed that the Laundrie family spent the night in Fort De Soto Park with their son twice after he came back alone from Wyoming in early September.
Dog said in an interview with Dr Oz on Tuesday that he wants to speak to Brian’s father, because parents know where their kids are ’50 per cent of the time’ when they have been accused of a crime. He said another 35 per cent of parents help with the search.
The Laundries maintained their silence Tuesday when they were seen leaving home mid-morning to buy groceries. They have not publicly commented on Brian’s disappearance or the slaying of his fiancé.
Brian was charged with ‘use of unauthorized access device’ last Thursday, but said they will ‘continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide.’
An extensive search for Brian has been underway since his parents reported him missing on September 17 – two days after he was named a person of interest in Petito’s case.