It’s personal for Dog the Bounty Hunter.
He said he was already in Florida on a honeymoon with his new wife, so it wasn’t too far for him to travel.
Authorities issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Laundrie last week after Petito’s remains were discovered in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19. A coroner has ruled her death a homicide.
The coroner’s ruling means Petito was killed by another person, but medical examiners in Wyoming haven’t disclosed how she died pending further autopsy results.
Laundrie remains a person of interest and has been charged with debit card fraud. Federal officials accuse him of using a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing.
They did not say who the card belonged to.
Laundrie’s parents reported him as missing on Sept. 17, and they told police they hadn’t seen their son in three days.
Video footage obtained by Fox News shows Chapman arriving at the Laundrie residence on Sept. 25, armed with a warrant, and knocking at the door. When there’s no answer, he speaks with the Laundries’ neighbour and then heads back to knock once again. No one answers the door, so Chapman returns to his car and is driven away.
“The reason I went to Mr. Laundrie (Brian’s father) is I carry a reputation with me. The reputation is, ‘He gives you a second chance. He’s gonna get you, but he gives you a second chance,'” Chapman said to Fox News. “I know what the victims feel like.”
Chapman lost his daughter in a car accident in 2006. She was around the same age as Petito.
“The dad can still reach out to me, through social media,” the 64-year-old said. “Let’s get the kid captured alive. Alive.”
“We had a lot of requests that I get in on this. This is what I do for a living, for 45 years,” he said, expressing confidence that he’ll find Laundrie. He’s given himself a six-week time frame to find him.
Chapman seems to think the 24-year-old is somewhere out on a hiking trail in the dense wilderness, eluding authorities.
“I’m chasing several leads,” he said to U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail. “We’ve got a lot of leads. I can’t tell you more but we are getting leads every 10 minutes.”
Several reports indicate that Chapman has set up his own anonymous tip line at (833)-TELL-DOG, and the calls are allegedly coming in fast succession. A representative for the so-called “bounty hunter” told media that Chapman will fully co-operate with police and is merely volunteering his services.
“I think he’s young enough, not an experienced criminal, but what is his greatest experience? Outdoorsman … that’s what he does the best. I don’t think he can shoplift, live on the run, live in cheap hotels. On a one-to-10 he’s probably a six, compared to the outdoorsmen and some of the guys I’ve captured,” Chapman said to Fox News.
“Somebody else knows where he’s at, where they dropped him off at, or did they drop him off?” he said. “That person is gonna tell us because, again, we’re not the police. This is anonymous.”
Petito’s parents held a sombre funeral on Sunday for their daughter. Mourners formed a line by noon at the Long Island funeral home about 56 kilometres east of New York City, and groups of firefighters were seen filing past. A fire truck sat on each side of the building, each with its ladder raised.
Across the street from the funeral home, a chainlink fence was adorned with posters featuring Petito’s image and messages like “She touched the world.”
“I will find him,” promised Chapman.
The investigation and search for Laundrie are ongoing.
— With files from The Associated Press