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Ex-FBI agent questions wisdom of conducting police training in Brian Laundrie search area

A former FBI agent questioned the way local authorities are searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, at the Carlton Reserve in Florida.

According to NewsNationNow, the Carlton Reserve is also being used for police training exercises amid the search. It is an important location for the authorities as the reserve is the site where Laundrie said he was going hiking on September 13 but never returned.

The North Port Police (NPPD) on Friday had carried assault rifles as they were searching the reserve but then packed up and left, NewsNationNow reported.

“In all my years as an FBI Agent and FBI SWAT Operator, we never conducted training in a location that was a known crime scene or a location where a legitimate search for a fugitive was being conducted. I do not know NPPD policies,” retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer wrote on Twitter Friday.

Newsweek contacted the NPPD for comments but didn’t hear back in time for publication.

The latest search for Laundrie comes almost one month after his family reported him missing on September 17.

The NPPD said on Friday that one of the entrances at the Florida reserve was restricted from the public to provide a local special response team space to train.

According to a police report, the park where the training was carried out is also the location where Laundrie’s Mustang was marked as an “abandoned vehicle.”

Last week, Laundrie’s father, Chris, was asked to join law enforcement in their search for his son. According to the family’s lawyer Steven Bertolino, Chris Laundrie joined the search only three weeks after his son went missing because “the preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well.”

“Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve,” Bertolino said last week. “Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better.”

Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in the investigation of Petito’s disappearance after the couple went on a road trip that lasted for months. She was reported missing on September 11, about 10 days after Laundrie returned from the trip.

Petito was found dead in Wyoming on September 19 and her case is being treated as a homicide.

On Tuesday, the Teton County coroner’s office said that Petito died from manual strangulation. The office also estimated that Petito died three to four weeks before her body was found.

A former FBI agent on Friday criticized the way local authorities are searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, at the Carlton Reserve in Florida. Above, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission along with other surrounding law enforcement agencies continue their search in the Carlton Reserve for Laundrie on September 21, 2021 in Venice, Florida.
Octavio Jones/Getty Images

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