Police tape was seen Friday stretched across one of the entrances to the sprawling nature reserve where authorities have been conducting the massive manhunt for Brian Laundrie, according to a report.
The “Do Not Cross” tape was photographed by a WFLA reporter at the North Port side of the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which gives access to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.
The station noted that it was the first time it had seen police tape being used at the reserve since the search for the 23-year-old fugitive — the sole person of interest in the Gabby Petito homicide case — was launched on Sept. 18.
A North Port police SUV could be seen just beyond the tape and other law enforcement vehicles were obscured by trees at the site, WFLA said.
The tape was observed shortly after a police cadaver dog from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office was reportedly brought in to assist North Port police, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI in the search.
It was not immediately clear if the tape was put up due to any development in the search for Laundrie, who has not been named a suspect in Petito’s death, but is wanted on a federal warrant for unauthorized use of her bank card.
The Teton County coroner has announced that the 22-year-old Long Island native’s cause of death was manual strangulation or throttling.
“Manual strangulation or throttling is strangulation by use of hands as opposed to mechanical strangulation,” Dr. Brent Blue told WFLA.
Petito’s family traveled to Wyoming on Wednesday to reclaim her remains, which were found at the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19 after her ill-fated cross-country trip with Laundrie.