Feds Investigating Brian Laundrie’s Alleged Burner Phone Purchased Day He was Last Seen
Brian Laundrie reportedly purchased a burner phone on the day he disappeared from his parent’s home in Florida.
Mr Laundrie was seen buying the phone in the company of an older woman at an AT&T store in North Port Florida on 14 September, sources told TMZ.
FBI agents went to the store and seized CCTV footage in recent days, the celebrity news site claimed.
Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino confirmed on Wednesday the phone purchase, but said he believed Mr Laundrie left the burner phone at home.
“To my knowledge they did purchase a new phone and it’s the same phone that Brian left home and which the FBI is in possession of.”
An employee at the North Port AT&T store told TMZ they couldn’t comment on the link to the manhunt, and referred media to law enforcement.
The public affairs team at the FBI Denver Division told The Independent they could not comment on the reports.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie have denied any involvement in their son’s disappearance.
Authorities launched a manhunt for Mr Laundrie on 17 September, three days after he reportedly left his parent’s home telling them he was going hiking in the nearby Carlton Reserve.
An extensive search of the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve has been hampered by torrential rain, which left many of the hiking trails under waist-deep water.
Meanwhile, a Florida couple who camped beside the Laundrie family days after Gabby Petito is believed to have died say they may have captured Brian Laundrie in a selfie.
Mr Laundrie arrived at the Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, with his parents on 6 September.
Fort Myers couple Marci and Kenny Newsom told NBC2 they checked into the campsite on the same day and stayed just metres from the Laundries in the neighbouring site.
After scouring their photos, they noticed a man in the background walking across a field with a close-cropped haircut who appears to match Brian Laundrie’s description.
On Wednesday afternoon, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman posted an update to his social media channels to say he was carrying out “an active and specific search in a key area based on the intelligence we are receiving and researching”.