Viral Facebook post sparks a search for Brian Laundrie in Okaloosa County

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies actively searched for Brian Laundrie Tuesday morning after a...
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies actively searched for Brian Laundrie Tuesday morning after a viral Facebook post left authorities thinking he could be nearby.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies spent their Tuesday morning actively searching the Baker area for Brian Laundrie.

23-year-old Brian Laundrie has been missing for nearly a week. His parents told authorities he left their house in North Port on Friday to go hiking.

Law enforcement all across Florida are looking for Laundrie, as he could be the last person to have seen his fiancé, Gabby Petito, alive.

Roughly 500 miles away from Laundrie’s house, a local man posted a snapshot on Facebook that quickly went viral. The photo was taken on his deer trail camera in Baker Monday morning. It shows a man that resembles Laundrie, with a backpack on, walking through the woods.

The photo caught the attention of thousands, including the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said deputies were sent out around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to search the area where the video was taken. They wrapped up around noon after deputies said they didn’t find anything that showed Laundrie is or was in the area.

“They went through the trail area, the farmlands all surrounding that general area even launched a drone and searched by air. And they didn’t find anything or anyone of note. So at this point, they’re no longer actively searching but of course, everyone is keeping an eye out,” Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Michele Nicholson said.

Nicholson said they believe the man could have been someone else local to the Crestview area.

“There is an individual at this point that is very similar in appearance that they think may have been in that area. So there is a potential link to someone who would not be this suspect, that would have been in that area at this time that they’re following up on,” Nicholson said.

As of right now, nothing has been confirmed. Sheriff’s deputies are asking if anyone sees anything suspicious, please reach out.

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