North Port police spent $200k on overtime during Brian Laundrie search

During the search for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the strangulation death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, whose body was found September 19 in Wyoming, North Port police spent nearly $200,000 on overtime, local media reported.

Laundrie and Petito, both Long Island, New York, natives living with his family in Florida, were traveling across the country visiting national parks this summer when she disappeared at the end of August. Her body was found weeks later near Grand Teton National Park.

Laundrie returned home alone to Florida in Petito’s van September 1 and was reported missing by his parents September 17.

His skeletal remains, including a portion of his skull, were found October 20 in the Carlton Reserve and the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, along with several of his belongings, after more than a month of searching for him. The FBI used dental records to match the remains to Laundrie.

No cause of death could be determined after an October 22 autopsy, and Laundrie’s bones were sent to a forensic anthropologist for further examination.

Through a records request, it has been learned that North Port police spent about $195,000 on overtime in September and October.

That’s nearly three times more than what the department paid in overtime during the same time period the year before. In September 2020, police paid about $67,000 for overtime hours, according to reports.

North Port police officials previously admitted to making mistakes during their investigation into Petito’s disappearance, as they kept tabs on Laundrie before he fled his family’s home.

The city’s public information officer, Josh Taylor, has said that North Port police mistook Laundrie’s mother for him while surveilling the family, allowing Brian Laundrie to slip away from their Florida home September 13.