Dog the Bounty Hunter claims he’s already closing in on Brian Laundrie, a 23-year-old fugitive wanted for questioning in the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito.
The reality TV personality, whose real name is Duane Chapman, tweeted on Wednesday, “We’re here at the island.” “This is and could be the ideal hiding place for him. There aren’t many people out here, but we’ll be fighting a lot of environmental issues.
“All right, here we go,” he said. “Right now, the hunt is on. The hunt has just barely begun.”
“Boat crews and ground teams have been called in, and we have search and rescue dogs deployed,” he added in the tweet.
Chapman, 68, was on Florida’s Marco Island on Tuesday, establishing a home base in the Sunshine State from which to commence his search for Laundrie, according to a source close to the celebrity hunter.
He was in Pinellas County on Wednesday, roughly 75 miles from Laundrie’s home, in Fort De Soto Park, where Laundrie and his parents camped earlier this month.
TMZ said on Wednesday that Chapman believes Laundrie is not only alive but also that he is “close to arresting him,” citing a source.
On Wednesday, Chapman did not reply to calls for comment.
When Laundrie vanished last month, she was on a cross-country journey with Petito.
On Sept. 19, the body of the 22-year-old Long Island native was discovered at a remote Wyoming campsite, nearly three weeks after Laundrie left the couple’s Florida home without her.
According to his parents, Laundrie refused to cooperate with authorities and went missing on Sept. 14, prompting a large manhunt.
Even while an FBI-led manhunt continues in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve near the Laundrie residence in North Port, Chapman stated Saturday that he would join the search.
Petito’s death was ruled a homicide by a Wyoming coroner last month.
Although Laundrie has not been charged with her death, he has been named as the case’s only person of interest.
He’s also the subject of a federal fraud arrest warrant, according to Wyoming prosecutors, who claim he used someone else’s bank card on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.
The FBI has not confirmed whether or not the card belonged to Petito.
Jack Morphet contributed additional reporting.