MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Law enforcement officials have chased more than a dozen tips about possible sightings of Brian Laundrie in the Mobile area, but authorities told FOX1-0 News that none have panned out.
Laundrie is a “person of interest” in the death of Gabby Petito, whose disappearance has garnered national attention.
Social media was rife with reports that Laundrie was in the Mobile area over the weekend. Some stated with certainty that he had been seen.
But Charlette Solis, a spokeswoman for Mobile Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste told FOX10 News that none of the leads had produced any concrete information.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Officer has received multiple calls, as well. Capt. Paul Burch said deputies have checked out tips from Grand Bay to Semmes to Wilmer. But like their counterparts at the Mobile Police Department, he said they failed to produce anything of substance.
“They’ve varied from the suspect hitchhiking or walking down the street in Wilmer and turns his head every time a car passes,” he said. “We’ve dispatched a vehicle for each and every call and verified that the person was not Laundrie.”
Laundrie was the fiancé of Petito, who went missing in Utah. On Sunday, investigators found what they believe is her body in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Law enforcement authorities have focused their attention on Laundrie. FBI agents on Monday executed a search warrant at the Florida home of Laundrie’s parents.
Laundrie has no known ties to the Mobile area, but that has not stopped a flurry of social media activity. One post holds that he stopped inside a sub shop at Rangeline Plaza on Halls Mill Road. But the manager told FOX10 News that he worked Sunday and saw nothing out of the ordinary and that police have not contacted him.
The internet also was abuzz when police reported a body near a dumpster in Tillman’s Corner. Speculation focused on Laundrie. But police said it was a homeless person and not connected to the Gabby Petito case.
Mobile resident David Jackson said there are a lot of homeless people in the area.
“It just a lot of people out here, man,” he said. “It’s a lot of homeless people that really built up in Tillman’s Corner. And that’s what’s gonna happen, you know what I man? It really don’t bother me, but I’m pretty sure it does everybody else.”
Mobile resident Shawnee Rogers said she has heard the rumors.
“It’s definitely pretty scary since it’s so close to home,” she said. “This is definitely scary thinking about how he could be right around the corner. … I think it’s rumors; people probably thinking they saw him trying to get attention, but I mean, you never know.”
Burch said it does not make sense that Laundrie would be on foot since he had access to a car. But that did not stop multiple reports that he might have been walking on Interstate 10 toward Mississippi.
“There was one gentleman walking I-10, you know, which you’re really not supposed to do. However, he was checked by Mobile PD,” he said. “Between Mobile PD and us, he was checked seven times. And so, I finally said, ‘Give him a ride to the state line, and that way won’t be getting calls and tying up units unnecessarily.’”
Burch said Laundrie has no ties to the Mobile area that he is aware of. But he added that he would never discourage anyone from reporting anything that might prove useful to a law enforcement investigation.
“We will always check out every one, because, you may never know,” he said. “I would not want to be the one that didn’t send someone and it turns out to be him.”
Updated at 9:51 p.m. with additional information.