Don’t Worry, Dog the Bounty Hunter Is Looking for Brian Laundrie

Ex-reality television star and bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman says he received a “very good lead” and decided to look for Brian Laundrie himself.
Left: TV personality Duane Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter visits "FOX & Friends" at FOX Studios on August 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images) Right: This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by The Moab Police Depa

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You can run, but the Dog’ll get you. And his latest target is apparently Brian Laundrie, the person of interest in the homicide of his fiancée, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. 

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Ex-reality television star and bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman got involved in the search for Laundrie after receiving a “very good lead” that the 23-year-old was in the area of Fort De Soto Park in Florida, he told Fox News Monday. 

Petito and Laundrie were documenting a cross-country van trip on Instagram. But when Laundrie returned alone on Sept. 1 to his family’s Florida home where the couple lived, he refused to cooperate with police about Petito’s whereabouts. 

Laundrie was then reported missing by his family on Sept. 17 and has yet to be found. Two days later, Petito’s body was found in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Her death has been ruled a homicide. 

Dog, whose most prominent show documenting his business as a bounty hunter ran for eight seasons before it was cancelled in 2012, went to Fort De Soto Park, about 20 minutes south of St. Petersburg and 75 miles away from Laundrie’s family’s home. 

He told Fox News that Laundrie’s parents came to the park on Sept. 6 and while three people entered the park, only two people left on Sept. 8. 

"They were registered, went through the gate. They’re on camera. They were here," Dog told Fox. "We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate—that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp." (The search for Laundrie has centered around a 24,000-plus acre preserve in Sarasota County, which is where the Laundries told police their son went.) 

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Dog then went to the family’s home in North Port, Florida, to talk to them. Laundrie’s mother called the police, the New York Post reported

“It’s a shame they wouldn’t speak with us,” Dog told Fox News. “The police said we were welcome to knock on the door so we did. I wanted to tell the Laundries that our goal is to find Brian and bring him in alive.”

Laundrie’s family denied aiding their son’s disappearance and have said they don’t know where he is.

“The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong,” Steven Bertolino, the family’s attorney, said in a statement to multiple outlets.

Update 9/28/21: Bortolino later confirmed in a statement to WFLA that the family had gone to the park on Sept. 6 and 7 but that all three members, including Laundrie, left together.

Amid speculation that Laundrie’s parents could be charged with contempt or obstruction of justice, protesters have been at their home for days. After they returned home from a shopping trip Monday, a woman yelled through a bullhorn: “You guys are murders! What were you thinking helping your son?” 

Chapman’s involvement is just the latest evidence of how much attention Petito’s disappearance and death have received— a disproportionate amount in contrast with similar cases. Internet sleuths on TikTok have even been investigating

But Dog has faced scandals of his own. In 2007, in the middle of his first show’s run, Dog was recorded repeatedly using the n-word during a phone conversation with his son about his son’s relationship with a Black woman. 

Referencing the incident earlier this month, Dog told Fox News that he “thought I had a pass in the Black tribe to use [the N-word], kind of like Eminem.” When asked who gave him that “pass,” Dog responded: “The brothers.”