A man with an apparent resemblance to fugitive Brian Laundrie says that U.S. Marshals ambushed him with guns while he was sleeping during a break in a hiking trip with his girlfriend.
Severin Beckwith told the New Yorker that he and his girlfriend had been hiking in upstate New York and had decided to get some rest at the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort when feds busted in. It is unclear exactly what day this happened, but the reports indicate it was a recent event, connected to the search for Laundrie.
“Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘U.S. Marshals’ written on them,” Beckwith told the magazine. “Handguns pointed at my face.”
Beckwith said he suspected right away that the U.S. Marshals were because of his resemblance to Laundrie.
“I really hoped I was right,” he told the New Yorker.
Indeed, according to Beckwith’s account, the authorities did confirm that he was not the person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death. He claimed that the feds fingerprinted him, and checked to see if he had the same tattoos as Laundrie. He does not. He also showed the authorities his I.D. The report indicates that the U.S. Marshals were easily convinced Beckwith was not the person they are looking for. Beckwith said they encouraged him to shave his beard, in order to help minimize the resemblance.
Beckwith said he “immediately regretted” shaving his beard, “because I have much less of a chin than Laundrie does.” He also said he believes an employee at the resort alerted authorities, due to his resemblance to Laundrie. Beckwith said the employee took a photo of him, and that the U.S. Marshals shared the photo with him. He also said the feds told him and his girlfriend that they now had a good story to tell, according to the New Yorker.
Laundrie has been missing since September 13, two days after his girlfriend was reported missing. Petito was found dead in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Park on September 19. A medical examiner determined that she was murdered, and died by manual strangulation. Laundrie had been named a person of interest in Petito’s death but has not yet been named a suspect in her murder. He is facing federal charges of unauthorized use of another person’s financial accounts.
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