DOG the Bounty Hunter says tips are still pouring in as he hunts down Gabby Petito's wanted fiance Brian Laundrie – however, he isn't sharing those leads with law enforcement, the TV star has revealed.
Dog, real name Duane Chapman, joined the hunt for 23-year-old Laundrie late last month at the behest of his fans shortly after Gabby's remains were found at a Wyoming campsite on September 19.
In the days since, Dog says he has received more than 2,000 potential leads in the case and has been scouring Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida since last Tuesday.
"We're getting calls like crazy," he told the right-wing network Newsmax this week. "I think the success of this bounty hunt is going to be the tip line."
Laundrie is wanted on charges of allegedly using two financial accounts that didn't belong to him between August 30 and September 1, around three days after Gabby was last seen alive.
He has not yet been charged in relation to her death, nor has he been named officially as a suspect.
'ON HIS TAIL'
Laundrie vanished sometime around September 14, his parents claim, after telling them he was going hiking in Carlton Reserve, near his home in Bayport, Florida, but failed to return.
Dog, meanwhile, claimed to have received a tip last week that Laundrie had gone camping at Fort De Soto with his parents on September 6 but alleged that only his parents left the park on September 8.
The family later admitted that they had gone camping on those dates, in addition to two other locations, but insisted that Laundrie had returned home with them.
While Laundrie continues to evade police, Dog told Newsmax that he believes he's closing in on the van-life vlogger, who he thinks is very much alive.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
"We're right on his tail," Dog said, adding that he's received more than 2,000 calls, around 20 percent of which have contained promising leads.
The Bounty Hunter was then pressed what makes his search different from that of police and the FBI, who have so far focused their own search in Carlton Reserve.
"We kind of do the same thing. But I really don't pay too much attention," he said.
"I don't call the police they are usually called on me."
Dog then said he's not coordinating with law enforcement officials on his independent investigation into Laundrie's disappearance.
"I can’t call up and say ‘Hey G-Man what’s going where’s your leads? And they don’t call me and say ‘Hey Dog where are your leads?
"[But] if someone's in a house and they start firing at us, then we call big brother, and they send out the SWAT and the dogs and get the guy," he said.
On Sunday, Dog was pictured wading through swampy waters inside Fort De Soto wielding a Taser.
A clip posted to Instagram showed him flanked by a team of investigators on boats.
"The search has continued throughout the weekend on the islands off the west coast of Florida," Dog captioned the clip.
Lyssa Chapman, Dog's daughter, also announced via Twitter yesterday that she has thrown her weight behind the frantic search for Laundrie.
"Update: Dads is physically following up on leads today, and I am digitally following up on leads. Keep the info coming," Lyssa wrote.
"Persistent is key to getting #justiceforgabbypetito & #BrainLaundrie behind bars," she added.
Previously, Dog found personal items he believes may belong to Brian Laundrie. A description of the items was not offered.
However, in a video posted to Twitter, Dog and a team of K9s were seen scouring an area deep in the woods of Shell Island.
Dog appeared to find a can of Monster Energy Ultra Gold while carrying out the search.
It's not known who left the item at the site. However, the can didn't show any signs of rust or fading, suggesting it may have recently been left there.
Dog has also contributed $10,000 to the reward being offered in the search for Brian Laundrie, bringing the alleged reward total to $180,000.
Elsewhere in Florida, investigators searching in Carlton Reserve are facing increasingly difficult environmental factors, forensic experts say.
According to Bryanna Fox, a former FBI agent and associate professor in the department of criminology at the University of South Florida, investigators are fighting against time to collect the forensic evidence needed to build a case.
She told CNN: "Time is that one thing that we are constantly fighting in law enforcement.
"The odds of finding [him] get slimmer every day, so time is obviously really of the essence," she added.
While Dog's involvement in the case has been celebrated among his fans on social media, some experts have accused him of "obstructing" law enforcement in the search for Laundrie.
Bill Warner, who runs a PI service in Florida, alleged that Dog is guilty of an “obstruction of justice”.
He blasted the bounty hunter’s search as “one big publicity stunt”.
Warner told The Sun that Dog’s involvement in the case is “outrageous”.
But, the bounty hunter insisted: "I don't need the publicity."
BRIAN STILL AT LARGE
Brian Laundrie has now been missing for nearly three weeks.
The couple, who met in New York before moving to Florida two years ago, was around two months into their planned four-month cross-country road trip touring the US’ national parks before Gabby vanished sometime around August 27.
Brian quietly returned home to Florida alone on September 1, failing to alert police or Gabby’s family that she was missing.
He reportedly acted “without a care in the world” upon his return, neighbors said, mowing the front yard and enjoying idyllic bike rides with his mom.
Gabby was eventually reported missing by her mother in New York on September 11. That came after 10 days of allegedly being stonewalled by Brian and his parents about where her daughter was, she said.
Then, on September 14, Brian allegedly vanished after telling his parents he was going hiking at Carlton Reserve.
But they didn’t report Brian missing until three days later when police showed up at their home.
GABBY WAS 'MURDERED'
Gabby's remains were found by investigators at a campsite near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19.
The manner of her death has preliminarily been ruled a homicide, however, a cause of death has not yet been publicly released.
Laundrie is not currently considered a suspect in Gabby's murder but is considered a person of interest.
He also has a warrant out for his arrest on bank fraud allegations after allegedly racking up $1,000 in charges on a debit card that's believed to have belonged to Gabby.
Law enforcement is still searching Carlton Reserve for traces of Laundrie, while TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is scouring Fort De Soto.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS
Source: Read Full Article