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Gabby Petito: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins search Brian Laundrie as family gather for memorial service – The Independent

Eight days after he was reported missing, authorities appear no closer to locating Brian Laundrie.

A scaled-back police search team returned to the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, on Saturday where the missing man told family he was going for a hike last Tuesday.

He left home without his cellphone or wallet, family attorney Steve Bertolino said, and rumours of possible sightings have been flooding social media. So far, none of the sightings have been confirmed.

The lack of progress in the manhunt comes as Ms Petito’s family members are gathering in her home town of Blue Point, on New York’s Long Island, ahead of a memorial service there on Sunday.

Members of the public are being invited to attend a memorial visitation between 12pm and 5pm at the Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook.

The family have asked that mourners donate to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of donations or flowers.

Several media outlets reported that Ms Petito’s remains had been cremated prior to her being brought back from Wyoming to New York.The Independent has sought confirmation from the family’s attorney Richard Stafford.

The search for Mr Laundrie received a boost on Saturday in the form of reality TV star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman.

Mr Chapman showed up at the North Port home of Christopher and Roberta Laundrie on Saturday afternoon.

Arriving in a 4WD vehicle shortly before 4.30pm, he knocked on the front door of the house and when no one answered, spent a few minutes at the property before getting back in his vehicle.

He earlier released a statement to say he and wife Francie Frane were throwing themselves into the investigation.

“Dog and Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves,” the statement read.

“Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family for what they’re going through and want to help bring justice for her death.”

Mr Chapman called for anyone with tips on Mr Laundrie’s whereabouts to contact him and said that “all information will be kept confidential.”

It’s unclear whether Mr Chapman’s involvement is welcomed by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies directly involved in the search for Mr Laundrie.

A massive manhunt is underway across several states after Mr Laundrie was formally charged with fraudulently using a debit card in the days after Ms Petito went missing. The indictment allowed an arrest warrant to be issued against Mr Laundrie, the FBI said.

Meanwhile, staff at a Utah motel where Mr Laundrie stayed after a domestic violent incident involving Ms Petito on 12 August are reportedly assisting the authorities with their investigation into the missing man.

The Sun reported that Mr Laundrie spent the night at the Bowen Motel in Moab after police separated he and Ms Petito.

Staff at the $78-a-night motel said they had been co-operating with police, who are conducting a nationwide search for Mr Laundrie after he disappeared from his Florida home last week.

Bodycam footage captured Mr Laundrie telling officers he could not afford a hotel room for the night, and he was assisted by a local domestic violence charity.

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