Dog the Bounty Hunter’s estranged daughter has dismissed his manhunt for Brian Laundrie as a ‘publicity stunt’ and mocked him for parading a Monster Energy can as a sign he could be closing in on the fugitive.
Cecily Chapman, 28, told the Sun she thinks her reality star father Duane Chapman, 68, needs to ‘back off’ and let law enforcement do their job as they track down the sole person of interest wanted in connection to the death of Gabby Petito.
‘It’s just a publicity stunt. That’s really what it is. He needs to back off and let the FBI handle it,’ said Chapman.
‘A real (TV) network would be aware of the situation and I’m pretty sure everyone knows that this is a f**kng publicity stunt.’
Chapman voiced her suspicions about her father’s true intentions as it emerged that Dog has already pitched a show about his hunt for Laundrie to at least one network.
A source told The Wrap he put the idea to A&E – the cable channel which aired his Dog The Bounty Hunter show for nine series before it ended in 2015 – which ‘immediately passed’.
Dog the Bounty Hunter’s estranged daughter Cecily Chapman (pictured together) has dismissed his manhunt for Brian Laundrie as a ‘publicity stunt’
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. Dog launched his own search for Laundrie last month
Chapman, who no longer speaks to her adopted father, laughed off his repeated claims of making progress in his search for Laundrie.
‘What, you found a Monster Energy can? What does that do for anyone?’ she asked.
Last Wednesday, Dog brandished a Monster Energy drink can he had recovered from his search of the Fort De Soto Park in Florida where Laundrie is known to have camped with his family one week before he went on the run.
The can, which appeared to have been freshly drunk, was found at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods at Shell Island along the coastline by the park.
A spokesperson for Dog said the same day that he was ‘working on very strong leads’ and that it ‘could very well be the last day of the hunt to apprehend Brian Laundrie’.
The 68-year-old has documented his search for Laundrie on social media – most recently releasing footage of him wading through swamp water in the park.
Chapman also described this widely-publicized footage as ‘totally staged’ and questioned how her father is funding the search.
‘Realistically, how is he doing this, what the hell is he doing, and who is funding this nonsense!?’ she asked.
‘He’s trying to distract everybody from everything, that’s what he does. He tries to hide his problems.’
Chapman mocked him for parading a Monster Energy can (above)he found at a makeshift campsite near the Fort De Soto campsite as a sign he could be closing in on the fugitive
She dismissed the idea that he could beat the FBI in locating the fugitive, who is thought to have been on the run for around three weeks.
‘To be completely honest with you, the FBI is never going to let Dog the Bounty Hunter catch Brian anyway — the FBI is way too prideful for that,’ she said.
The 28-year-old’s criticism comes after she and her sister Bonnie Chapman, 22, revealed they were no longer on speaking terms with their dad following their mom Beth’s death in 2019.
Beth and Dog were married from 2006 to her passing in June 2019 at the age of 51 from lung cancer.
The two daughters told TMZ in August that they had been uninvited to their dad’s wedding to Francie, a rancher from Colorado, the following month – whom he met months later in March 2020.
Bonnie later claimed she believed the rift was triggered by her support of Black Lives Matter and her involvement with Unleashed TV – a network that purportedly fired Dog over his use of offensive ‘epithets’.
Chapman also described this widely-publicized footage of her father wading through the Fort De Soto Park looking for Laundrie as ‘totally staged’
Chapman said she thinks her reality star father Duane Chapman needs to ‘back off’ and let law enforcement do their job
She accused her father of racism and homophobia and of cheating on her late mom.
Dog – who has 13 children – denied using racist and homophobic language and said his daughter’s accusations were ‘false’.
He also told TMZ his daughters are being ‘groomed’ by his former associates, pleading: ‘Please pray for Bonnie and Cecily to be released from whatever hold these people have on them.’
‘Despite the sadness, we feel at this rift in our family, Francie and I are looking forward to celebrating our wedding next week with the rest of our family and close friends.’
One of Dog’s other daughters – Lyssa, 34 – has joined him in the search for Laundrie, after he announced he was launching his own manhunt for the fugitive days after Petito’s body was discovered in a campsite near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Chapman with her dad. She voiced her suspicions about her father’s true intentions as it emerged that Dog has already pitched a show about his hunt for Laundrie to A&E
On September 25, Dog first showed up on the doorstep of the Laundrie’s family home in North Port, Florida, where Petito and Laundrie both lived for a year prior to embarking on their cross-country trip.
The reality star has focused much of his search since then at the campsite at Fort De Soto.
Laundrie’s family’s attorney has admitted Laundrie visited the park with his parents on September 6, claiming they left altogether the following day.
Dog has claimed the 23-year-old never left the park.
Meanwhile, the FBI has focused its search mainly at the Carlton Reserve close to the family home, where Laundrie’s parents claimed he was heading the last time they saw him.
Federal agents have also seized surveillance footage from around the park.
Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, set off on July 2 on the adventure of a lifetime traveling across America in their white campervan and chronicling their adventures on YouTube.
On September 1, Laundrie arrived back at his family’s home in North Port without his fiancée but driving their van.
Dog has focused much of his search around the campsite at Fort De Soto in Pinellas County, Florida (pictured)
Laundrie visited the park (above) with his parents on September 6. They said he returned home with his family the next day
Petito was reported missing on September 11 by her mom after not hearing from her daughter for multiple days and coming up against a wall of silence from Laundrie and his parents.
The Laundrie family lawyered up and refused to let cops speak to him about his fiancee’s whereabouts.
His parents then reported him as missing on September 17, telling authorities they had not seen him since September 14 when he went on a hike in the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve.
His parents claimed Tuesday they were mistaken and now ‘believe’ he went on the run one day earlier – meaning he had a four-day headstart on authorities.
Petito’s body was discovered in the Wiping park on September 19 and her death has been ruled a homicide. It is not clear how she died or when.
Local police and the FBI have now been searching for Laundrie for almost three weeks.
Timeline of Gabby Petito case
- July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
- August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
- Aug. 17: Laundrie allegedly flies back to Florida to ‘clear out a storage unit’
- Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Aug. 23: Laundrie flies back to Utah to ‘rejoin Gabby’ on their trip
- Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
- Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
- Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
- Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground; Witnesses say they saw a ‘commotion’ with the couple at Merry Piglets Tex-mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming
- Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
- Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
- Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
- Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
- Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
- Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
- Sept. 13: Laundrie’s lawyer says on October 5 that his parents now ‘believe’ this was the day they last saw him heading for a hike
- Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Laundrie’s parents claim on September 17 that Laundrie left his parents’ home for a hike and they hadn’t seen from him since
- Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
- Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
- Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
- Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
- Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
- Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
- Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
- Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando
- Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie
- Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children
- Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left
- Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods
- Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home
- Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did
- Oct. 2: A hiker along the Appalachian Trail claims to have seen Laundrie near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina
- Oct. 3: Investigators searched the area on the Appalachian trail for any signs that Laundrie had been there
- Oct. 4: Laundrie’s sister told protestors outside her home that her family has been ignoring her after they rebuked her story and that she does not know where her brother is
- Oct 5: Laundrie’s sister appeared on Good Morning America to say she would turn her brother in if she knew where he is; The Laundrie attorney says his parents now ‘believe’ he went on the run one day earlier than they first claimed (September 13 not 14) meaning he had a four-day headstart before they reported him missing to authorities; The attorney also says Laundrie flew from Utah to Florida on Aug. 17 without Petito to clear out a storage unit then returned on Aug. 23