NC officials investigate sightings of Brian Laundrie as Gabby Petito's parents talk when they found out she was dead

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Source: Moab City police

Oct. 6 2021, Published 11:23 a.m. ET

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A Sheriff’s department in North Carolina says it received numerous reports of sightings of Brian Laundrie in the last several days as Gabby Petito’s parents said they would rather see him in a jail cell.

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The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office posted on Oct. 4 that it has had numerous sightings of the man who has become the country’s most wanted fugitive.

There have been numerous reports of Laundrie being sighted along the Appalachian Trail as a nationwide manhunt continues. Laundrie is wanted for questioning in connection to Petito’s deaths. He also has an active warrant for allegedly using Petito’s credit card after her death.

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Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip and posted videos and photos to social media about their travels. In early September, Laundrie returned to Florida, but Petito did not. Ten days later, her family reported her missing.

The case became a national phenomenon, and on Sept. 19, federal investigators said they found Petito’s remains in a Wyoming national park. Laundrie was named as a person of interest in the case but disappeared before police could speak to him.

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Days after Petito’s remains were found, federal officials announced Laundrie had been charged and accused of fraudulently using Petito’s credit card.

Haywood County, North Carolina, is located near the border with Tennessee and officials say they have investigated each reported sighting over the past several days. But none have found the wanted man.

“We will continue to respond and fully investigate all calls for service related to the nationwide search for Mr. Laundrie within our jurisdiction,” the department stated.

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The release comes as Petito’s family appeared on the “Dr. Phil” showed that aired on Oct. 5.

“I want to see him in a jail cell or the rest of his life," Joe Petito said about Laundrie.

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The family also talked about learning that their daughter was dead, though Joe Petito said he expected that news.

"I wasn't naïve to the fact. We were just hoping. We had to find her. We had to bring her home,” he said.

Gabby’s mom, Nicole Schmidt, told Dr. Phil that when they heard remains were found, they knew it was their daughter — even as they hoped it wasn’t.

“It was the hardest thing I ever had to listen to. It didn't hit me right away for a few seconds,” she said. “But I knew she was gone. As a mom, I knew she was gone."

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