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Yet another person has claimed to have spotted Brian Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, and this one told a 911 operator that they are “99.9%” certain it’s the fugitive.
“I’m telling you, it was him,” Dennis Davis, 53, told a dispatcher in Haywood County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office dispatcher on Saturday morning, the New York Post reports.
While he pronounced Laundrie as Lauer, the engineer was certain that he is the 23-year-old boyfriend of murder victim Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.
Davis, a Florida engineer and hiker, told the operator that he was flagged down by a man in a white truck — likely a Ford F150 — on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.
“I was making a U-turn in the road and he came up behind me and he slowed down and kind of flashed his lights, like tell me go ahead and go and I’m going to wait for you,” Davis told the Post. “And as I turned around and I’m coming back by him he’s waving his arm out of his truck like for me to slow down.”
He said that the man was “talking wild.”
“He said that his girlfriend loved him and he had to go out to California to see her, and he was asking me how to get to California,” he claimed.
Laundrie was reported missing in mid-September by his parents Chris and Roberta. He is a person of interest in the investigation into Petito’s disappearance. The 22-year-old travel blogger’s remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19; she was last seen alive while on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, who had returned to his parent's home in Florida without her. A federal arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest for the unauthorized use of a debit card following Petito’s murder.
Multiple searches at the swampy reserve in Florida, where Laundrie's parents claim he went for a hike before vanishing, to locate him have been unsuccessful. Since then, multiple tipsters have claimed to have spotted the reputed skilled outdoorsman along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
Sheriffs’ offices in both Watauga and Avery Counties told local outlet WSOC-TV last week that they had received numerous tips from people who think that Laundrie could be hiding out along the trail. The North Carolina section of the trail has also been an area of interest to Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, who has been on a high-profile hunt to find Laundrie.
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