Did Dog the Bounty Hunter fly ‘Aloha Brian Laundrie’ banner? Truth about crazy claim
As authorities continue their search for Brian Laundrie, who disappeared shortly before his girlfriend Gabby Petito was found dead, reality TV star Dog the Bounty hunter has embarked on his own crusade to locate the 23-year-old in Florida. Now, a viral social media post purportedly shows a plane in the air with a banner reading, "Aloha Brian Laundrie - Dog." Many are wondering whether it was a publicity stunt masterminded by Dog himself.
The television star, whose real name is Duane Lee Chapman, joined the nationwide manhunt for Laundrie earlier this week. He has claimed that a tipster had informed him the fugitive was likely inside the Fort De Soto Park. Laundrie and his parents Chris and Roberta stayed at a campsite in the park on September 6, shortly after he returned alone from his road trip in Petito's Ford Transit van. Her murdered remains were later found in Wyoming.
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"This junction of the Gabby Petito murder investigation feels like an absolute fever dream," the post read. "You have Dog the Bounty Hunter who's tracked Brian Laundrie down to a tropical island and is now taunting him by flying a banner around the island in hopes of flushing him out." The tweet had garnered more than 28,000 likes and nearly 5,000 retweets at the time of writing.
This junction of the Gabby Petito murder investigation feels like an absolute fever dream. You have Dog the Bounty Hunter who’s tracked Brian Laundrie down to a tropical island and is now taunting him by flying a banner around the island in hopes of flushing him out pic.twitter.com/RGCpMc3cBE— J e double F (@boutAWeekAhgo) September 29, 2021
According to Newsweek, there were multiple versions of the picture, with some that replaced Dog with MTG, referring to the initials of Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Dog the Bounty Hunter's team, however, claimed that neither they nor Chapman had flown any banner over Florida in their search efforts for Laundrie. "Frankly, I wish I had thought of that, but it wasn't our team," Chapman told Newsweek via email. "I'd love to shake the hand of whoever is behind the banner, I'll tell you that," he added.
Furthermore, it is unclear whether the "Aloha Brian Laundrie" banner had been flown at all, or whether the image had been created using a photo editor. Chapman himself said he has not seen any such banner while investigating the Fort De Soto Park area. "We're out here at the island," he said in a video post. "This would be and could be a perfect spot for him to hide. Not too many people out here, but there's a lot of environmental things that we're gonna fight. So, here we go. The search now is really on. The search has just begun."
UPDATE: Video is from this morning — earlier today we launched an active and specific search in a key area based on the intelligence we are receiving and researching. Boat crews and ground teams have been called in and we have search and rescue dogs deployed. More to follow... pic.twitter.com/g2tq85JTZX— Duane Dog Chapman (@DogBountyHunter) September 29, 2021
MEAWW also reported how the Bounty Hunter’s search operation had been joined by former Navy SEALs, Marines, and a K9 unit. The TV personality said on Thursday, September 30, that he was satisfied with the progress in his efforts and believes his team will find the missing fugitive soon. Chapman and his team scoured an island called Egmont Key off the coast of St Petersburg, Florida. “We got a bunch of volunteers," he said. "Most of them are former law enforcement, former Navy SEALs, and Marines. So, we're on the hunt, I feel real good about it.”
The previous day, Chapman revealed that he found a makeshift campsite and a fresh Monster Energy Ultra Gold can that was not rusted or faded, thereby hinting it was recently thrown. However, authorities are yet to find out whether the can is linked to Laundrie and his family.