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Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of missing 22-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, is reportedly missing amid breaking news that he was spotted hiking alone and acting “weird” four days after Petito’s family last spoke with her.
For their part, Petito’s family believes he isn’t missing but rather “hiding” in what appears to be a bid to evade justice.
News of Laundrie’s “weird” behavior emerged Friday, when a TikTok user by the name of Miranda Baker posted a series of videos claiming she and her boyfriend had spotted him hiking alone in Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 29th.
They proceeded to pick him up to give him a ride to a nearby town.
“He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson, and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, you know, hop in, and he hopped in the back of my Jeep,” she said.
“We then proceeded to make small talk, but before he came in the car, he offered to pay us like $200 to give him a ride like 10 miles. So that was kind of weird,” she added.
Things got even weirder as they began chatting.
Listen to her recall what happened below (refresh the page if the video has changed):
“He then told us he’s been camping for multiple days without his fiancé. He did say he had a fiancé and that she was working on their social media page back at their van,” she said.
That’s unusual …
“Then once like in conversation, I brought up like [that] we’re going to Jackson. He freaked out. He’s like nope, I need to get out right now. Like pull over. So we pulled over at the Jackson Dam,” Baker continued.
“He kind of like hurried out of the car, and then he’s like OK, I’m gonna go find someone else to, you know, hitchhike, and we’re like OK. Um, it was a weird situation,” she added.
Notice how she originally said that Laundrie “needed to go to Jackson” but then freaked out when she “brought up” that they were headed to Jackson. This naturally provoked confusion, and so Baker posted another video later Friday afternoon to “clarify.”
She clarified that when she’d “brought up” that they were headed to Jackson, she’d used Jackson’s known nickname of Jackson Hole.
“He freaked out when I said Jackson Hole. He said we need to pull over, even though Jackson and Jackson Hole are the same thing. It’s the same town,” she said.
Listen (refresh the page if the video has changed):
According to Baker, she’s already spoken with the FBI and other law enforcement agents about her “weird” encounter with Laundrie.
The publication of her now-viral videos came on the same day that the other bombshell news emerged that Laundrie is missing.
“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian, and now they’ve called us here on Friday. We’ve gone to the home, and they’re saying now they have not seen their son,” police in North Port, Florida, where Laundrie and his parents live, told CNN late Friday.
In a statement to CNN, the Laundrie family’s attorney later confirmed that this is true, saying that his whereabouts “are currently unknown.”
However, early the following morning, Petito’s family released a pithy statement through their attorneys claiming that he isn’t missing but rather “hiding.”
“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” the statement reads.
NEW FROM GABBY’S FAMILY —
“Brian is not missing, he is hiding.
— Jeff Butera (@ABC7Jeff) September 18, 2021
Petito disappeared near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming earlier this month, prompting her family to report her missing on Sept. 11th. Just prior to her disappearance, she was spotted in the Utah town of Moab on Aug. 12th.
“Before [Petito and Laundrie] apparently headed to Salt Lake City, they were in Moab around the time of Aug. 12, the same day Petito posted images to Instagram of herself in Arches National Park,” as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.
“Moab police also responded to a ‘domestic problem’ that day involving the couple that was later categorized as a disorderly conduct incident. … No one was charged in relation to the incident, but an officer separated the couple for the night, driving Laundrie to a hotel and leaving Petito with the camper van so they could ‘relax their emotions,’” the Tribune reported.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 16, 2021
No arrests were made, but the couple was separated, with Laundrie spending a night at a hotel, and Petito reportedly spending it in their Ford van.
About two weeks later on Aug. 24th, both of them checked out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, roughly 230 miles northwest of Moab, and set out for Grand Teton National Park. That was reportedly the last day that Petito spoke to her mother by phone.
Then on Sept. 1st, Laundrie reportedly returned to Florida alone in their van. He’s refused to cooperate with authorities and is now apparently “missing” amid news that he was spotted acting “weird” days after Petito last spoke with her family.
Meanwhile, authorities are reportedly now investigating whether there’s a link between Petito’s disappearance and the double murder in Moab of two newlyweds who’d complained to their friends about being harassed by a “weirdo” days before being found dead last month.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 17, 2021
Considering Baker’s “weird” interaction with Laundrie, many now wonder whether Laundrie’s the same “weirdo” who’d harassed — and potentially murdered — the newlyweds.
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