DOG the Bounty Hunter says he's been forced to return to Colorado after injuring his ankle during his hunt for Brian Laundrie.
The 68-year-old star has been searching for the 23-year-old who disappeared almost a month ago, but says he has had to leave Florida to meet with doctors.
According to WFLA, Dog – real name Duane Lee Chapman – has put together a "talented team" to continue his hunt while he's away.
He will continue to process leads in Colorado while he’s there and is raising funds to continue what he has labeled an "expensive search".
It comes after Dog bluntly warned Gabby Petito's fugitive fiancé Brian Laundrie – saying: “I'm gonna catch you.”
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Dog confirmed he's received thousands of calls and said: “So I'm gonna tell you right now Laundrie, I'm gonna catch you.”
The reality TV star has been on the chase in Florida for a week since announcing he was joining the search for the 23-year-old.
Dog told The Sun he has been running down leads he has been getting from tipsters.
“So today we worked out three leads,” he said.
“Today we worked on three leads and we're the third lead is coming up very soon.”
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
In fact, he boasted that his team have fielded “3,500 calls.”
Admittedly, Dog said the majority of the calls are fans saying “Hello, We love the Dog!” but the rest are “pretty good.”
And the case demands doing the hard work to hopefully catch a break.
“In order to get someone, it doesn't matter how [or] what degree,” he said.
“The crime is you've got to work the leads that come in one at a time so we are working leads right now.”
The blonde mulleted Dog also had some choice words for the Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino.
It was Bertolino who pushed back against Dog’s claims that Brian hadn’t returned to his family’s North Port, Florida home with his parents and instead was left behind at Fort DeSoto Park.
Dog claimed the family camped together at the island grounds on September 1 through 3 and September 6 through 8.
"They were registered, went through the gate,” Dog said at the time in an interview with Fox News.
He added: “They're on camera. They were here.
"We think at least if he's not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp."
“That Dog doesn’t know what he’s talking about," Bertolino retorted in a statement, explaining that the family went to "other places on two different dates" which the FBI is allegedly aware of.
"So Brian obviously returned home after camping and what that dog is spewing is nothing but baloney," he added.
Dog shot back in his interview with The Sun.
“Oh, we need this dog to go away,” he said, suggesting that Bertolino is not a fan of the bounty hunter freelancing while the feds are also trying to find Brian.
“Because he's mentioned my name right now… instead of ‘No dog – a dog.’”
‘PEOPLE ARE GONNA GO CRAZY'
Previously, Dog is wondering about the manner of 22-year-old Gabby’s murder.
"If there was a brutal murder…people are going to go crazy," Dog said.
He theorizes the reason why the young woman’s cause of death hasn’t been released is out of mercy.
"I have heard that she had been there a few days before they found her,” said Dog.
"So I know that area's got a lot of animals and predators and wildlife so, but I am just like everyone else I'd like to know how she passed. "
Brian was named a “person of interest” four days days before his 22-year-old ex-fiancee, Gabby, was found dead in Grand Teton Park in Wyoming.
The van-life couple had logged two months of a cross-country road trip over the summer.
Gabby was last heard from Aug. 27.
The Teton County coroner and FBI confirmed remains found on September 19 was Gabby.
The coroner ruled her death a homicide but the cause of death hasn’t been revealed.
Dog also made some noise by stating his opinion that Brian may be a "serial killer."
He told The Sun: “I’m thinking more and more about him being maybe a serial killer, not just a killer of Gabby.
"The books he read are unbelievable.”
The fugitive wrote in an Instagram post that he and Gabby read the horror-satire novel Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk.
Dog said: “Reading is different than any other consumption of media, it takes more effort than staring at a screen half alive, it allows you to use your brain rather than melt it, and there is no author more stimulation to me than Chuck Palahniuk.”
WANTED 'PERSON OF INTEREST'
Brian was reported missing by his parents after cutting short the couple's cross country van-life adventure alone on September 1.
They called authorities to report their son missing on September 17 – days after Brian allegedly told his parents that he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida.
The fugitive’s Ford Mustang was found 16 miles from the site, according to a redacted vehicle report.
Papers reveal that the car was found in the Myakkahatchee Environmental Park in Florida.
The Laundrie family appears to have changed the timeline of events they had originally shared with police.
According to a statement released by the family's attorney Steven Bertolino on Tuesday, Brian actually "left to hike in the preserve" on Monday, September 13, not Tuesday, September 14 as his parents originally stated.
On Sept. 23, the FBI Denver Field Office issued an arrest warrant for Brian.
He stands accused of using an “unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death.
The FBI issued an arrest warrant, accusing Brian of swiping a Capital One debit card between August 31 and September 1.
Brian remains only a "person of interest" and has not been called a suspect in Petito's homicide.
DOG TRACKING FORT DE SOTO
Dog has continued to scour the 1,136-acre Fort de Soto campground and its surrounding islands after it was confirmed that the Laundries camped there on September 6.
The reality TV star’s daughter Lyssa Chapman says “big news” on the hunt for Laundrie could be revealed today.
She tweeted: “I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll be able to share some BIG news with you guys.
“Having to stay tight-lipped for now… trust the process.” She ended the post with a crossed fingers emoji.
The tweet sent internet sleuths crazy as Twitter "detectives" speculated "something is happening".
FOCUS ON CARLTON RESERVE
Cops and FBI agents continue to scour the 25,000-acre swampland that makes up the Carlton Reserve.
The Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said Laundrie's dad Christopher had joined cops in their search efforts amid reports that investigators discovered a fresh campsite at the national park.
But, investigators appeared to refute the alleged findings.
Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police Department, told CNN: “No campsite was found out there.
“Is it possible that they thought that there might be a campsite out there or something they may have seen from the air but when they got on the ground that’s not what it turned out to be?
“Sure I think that’s a possibility.”
There have been a number of alleged sightings since Laundrie was reported missing, including in parts of Florida, Mexico, Canada, and Montana.
While searching for Laundrie, Dog was served with a $1.3million lawsuit accusing him of “racist and homophobic behavior”.
He vehemently denies the allegations.
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