More than half a dozen tips have been made to two counties in North Carolina, claiming that fugitive Brian Laundrie is hiding out on the Appalachian Trail.
Officials from both Watauga County and Avery County sheriff’s offices in North Carolina said that the calls have been flooded in during the past 48 hours, with callers stating that Laundrie could be hiding out in the North Carolina mountains.
“We actually had a conversation with the FBI this morning and what you said is correct,” Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said, according to WSOC-TV. “If there’s something legitimate, we’ll check it out. And if there’s something more to it, then the FBI will be contacted — but not on every call.”
Another tipster reported seeing Laundrie in a car, but authorities in Watauga County said they pulled the car over, and it “turned out to be nothing,” ABC 11 reports.
Laundrie reportedly has no known connections to North Carolina, but he’s familiar with the Appalachian Trail and according to a friend of his late girlfriend, he used to brag about surviving several months alone on the trail.
“It’s a rugged trail, but it is easily accessible and you get back in there and you could pretty much hide anywhere,” hiker Tom Niziol told ABC 11. “So if somebody wanted to hide in this area, they might be able to.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 23-year-old Laundrie is wanted on a felony warrant following the death of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Laundrie and Petito embarked on a cross-country trip in July, but by September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home with Petito’s van, sans Petito.
Last month, authorities found Gabby’s deceased body in a remote area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Officials confirmed that the manner of death was a homicide but the cause of death is still pending.
Authorities issued the federal warrant for Laundrie for allegedly using a Capitol One Bank debit card without permission after Gabby passed away. Laundrie is said to have used the card between August 30 and September 1, “knowingly and with intent to defraud.”
Laundrie’s parents have insisted they have no clue where he is. They claimed he left their residence with a backpack on and headed to the Carlton Reserve on September 14. They reported him missing three days later.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Instagram]