'Gator and Snake Infested Swamps': Inside the Search for Missing Brian Laundrie

Brian Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, "van life" vlogger Gabby Petito, 22, whose body is believed to have been found in Wyoming Sunday, say police

On Tuesday, authorities in Florida returned to an alligator- and snake-infested swamp to resume their arduous search for Brian Laundrie, whose fiancée, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, was believed to be found dead in a Wyoming park on Sunday.

"Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times," North Port Police PIO Josh Taylor said in a release Tuesday morning announcing that authorities were returning to the sprawling reserve to search for Laundrie, 23, who is a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.

The 25,000-acre preserve where Laundrie said he went hiking on Sept. 14 is waist-deep in water in many areas, Taylor said in the release. "This is dangerous work for the search crews as they are wading through gator and snake infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails."

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned home to North Port from Wyoming, in the 2012 Ford Transit van that he and Petito had been driving in. Petito did not return with him.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie. Gabby Petito Instagram

Petito and Laundrie, who met in high school in Long Island, N.Y., where her parents live, had been traveling around the country for the last few months, documenting their "van life" journey on social media.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito. Gabby Petito Instagram

The vlogger's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11, telling authorities they were worried because they hadn't heard from her in two weeks.

As Petito's parents begged Laundrie for any information about their daughter's whereabouts, Laundrie kept quiet, refusing to speak to police, say authorities.

Besides the North Port Police Department, the agencies searching for Laundrie include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Wildlife Commission, local sheriff's offices and police K9 search and rescue teams.

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Laundrie's lawyer has not responded to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

On Tuesday, Taylor wrote in the release, "Alright, we're gonna get after this again."

He wrote that officials were searching the reserve once more, "This time, moving in from the Venice side of the area, along with adjoining lands."

"A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25-thousand-acre preserve has yet to yield any answers, but we must press on," he added.

He noted, "This is an FBI-led criminal investigation and North Port Police are assisting our federal partner in any way we can to bring this investigation to a close."

On Tuesday afternoon, Taylor sent out another release to the media, saying, "Nothing has been found as of 1pm ET. There is no presser planned at this time."

A Bright Light Dimmed Forever

On Sept. 15, PEOPLE spoke with Petito's father, Joseph Petito, who said his daughter was "amazing."

"She's so artistic. She's an amazing artist. She loves to draw," he said. "She has a great eye with decorating ... She's that flower child type of personality. The old soul, you know?"

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito. Gabby Petito Instagram

"If Woodstock was still going on, she'd still be there, man," Joseph added. "She's a hippie from the '60s, all right? She's a Beatles fan, round glasses ... a free spirit."

Authorities have not yet named a suspect in Petito's disappearance.

The North Port Police Department and the FBI are asking for continued public assistance by sharing any information through the tip lines 1-800-CALL FBI or tips.fbi.gov

*With reporting by Chris Harris.

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