Brian Laundrie, who’s been declared a person of interest in the death of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, is apparently no stranger to taking solo trips into the wilderness, and a friend of the deceased says Laundrie is accustomed to months-long nature trips.
“I know he lived in the Appalachians for what I believe was three months, and he did it by himself, so I know he’s skilled at it,” a friend of Gabby’s, Rose Davis, told DailyMail. “He and Gabby both told me stories about it,”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie embarked on a cross-country road trip in July, but Laundrie returned home to Florida without her on September 1. Gabby’s parents reported her missing on September 11 after getting no help in locating her from Laundrie.
Laundrie also refused to share information with investigators that could help with the search, according to police.
On Sunday, Petito’s body was discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. An autopsy that was conducted on Tuesday determined her preliminary manner of death was a homicide.
Last week, Laundrie disappeared from his parents’ home in North Port, Florida. Laundrie’s parents told police he went hiking at Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre park with sprawling and difficult-to-navigate terrain.
As of September 23, Laundrie remains unaccounted for. It’s something that doesn’t surprise Davis, as Laundrie reportedly knows how to survive alone off of the land.
“You could see the enthusiasm in his voice when he would talk about his adventures by himself like that trip into the Appalachians,” Davis said.
Davis met Gabby via an app called Bumble BFF. At the time, Gabby was living in North Port with Laundrie, thousands of miles away from her hometown of Long Island, New York. She wanted new friends in the area.
Gabby and Davis hit it off as immediate friends after learning they were only 30 minutes apart from each other.
Davis said while Gabby was looking to make new friends, Laundrie appeared to not have any friends at all. When Laundrie accompanied Gabby and Davis to the beach, he would generally go off somewhere by himself, Davis said.
Gabby and Laundrie got into several “brutal” arguments prior to their cross-country trip, Davis said, which would frequently end with Gabby spending the night at Davis’ house.
“I think that’s one reason why Brian rushed into this van trip,” Davis told DailyMail. “He saw how close we were getting and he realized that after every fight, she was staying at my house. And he didn’t have control over that.”
“Brian took her ID just so she wouldn’t be able to come out with me…He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these ‘episodes,’ where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep. Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.”
Davis said when she learned Gabby was missing, the first thing that popped in her mind was Laundrie’s “episodes.”
“I was just hoping he didn’t have a snapping moment,” Davis said.
Meanwhile, authorities are using a swamp buggy to look for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve. It’s the fifth day that searchers have combed the area.
The FBI indicated that Laundrie is not considered a suspect at this time, but instead, someone that investigators would like to speak with.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Brian Laundrie, Gabrielle Petito/Instagram]