A man hiking the Appalachian Trail says he’s confident that he talked with Brian Laundrie Saturday morning in North Carolina, the New York Post reports.
The hiker, Dennis Davis, told the newspaper that a man who looked and sounded like Laundrie waved him down on a road near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.
The report comes as police search for Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, who was found dead in Wyoming on September 19.
“There is no doubt in my mind I spoke to Brian Laundrie — none whatsoever,” Davis told the Post. “Dog the Bounty Hunter’s daughter sent me an audio file of Brian’s voice and the voice was the same I heard.”
People close to Laundrie have said he is familiar with the Appalachians and has reportedly spent months there alone.
Davis, 53, an engineer from Florida, told the Post that the man who looked like Laundrie was driving a car and asked for directions to California. Davis told the newspaper the encounter happened in the evening, but that there was enough light from both his vehicle and the man’s vehicle to see each other.
The man wanted to use back roads only and avoid major thoroughfares, such as the nearby Interstate 40.
The man also appeared “skittish” and said he had been in a fight with his girlfriend, according to the Post.
“He said ‘man, I’m lost.’ I said ‘what are you trying to find?’ and he said ‘me and my girlfriend got in a fight but she called me, told me she loves me, and I have to get to California to see her.’ I said ‘well, I-40 is right there and you could take it west to California’ and he said, ‘I’m just going to take this road into California.’ He was worried and not making sense,” Davis told the Post, reciting the conversation.
It was not until Davis later saw images of Laundrie on his phone that he realized the possible fugitive encounter.
The man was driving a white or light-colored pick-up truck that looked like a Ford F-150. He was wearing a dark bandana.
Davis told the Post that he contacted the FBI and made 911 calls to both North Carolina and Tennessee authorities but has not yet heard back.
“Obviously, as a father with a daughter, I want to do whatever I can to help the family find closure and get this guy off the streets,” Davis told the Post. “Law enforcement is probably getting millions of leads on this guy, but I am not some goofball out there doing drugs in the middle of the night, I am a highly educated professional.
“And I know that was the guy. There is no doubt about it. We have this lead but no one’s doing anything, not even a phone call.”
Federal authorities have an active arrest warrant for Laundrie for allegedly misusing a bank card after Petito is believed to have died by homicide. Laundrie is also considered a person of interest in her disappearance.
Petito and Laundrie had been on a cross-country road trip together in a camper van over the summer, but Laundrie returned home to Florida alone on September 1. He refused to talk with police and vanished days after Petito was officially reported missing.
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