People in Alabama believe Brian Laundrie may be hiding out in that state. Several have called police to report seeing the 23-year-old wanted for questioning in the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. Most of the calls are coming from the Mobile area, which is about 600 miles from Laundrie’s Florida home.
Mobile police say they take every tip seriously, but the sightings seem unconnected. Police do not believe he has any ties to the Mobile area.
“They’ve varied from the suspect hitchhiking or walking down the street in Wilmer and turns his head every time a car passes,” Mobile Police Capt. Paul Burch said. “We’ve dispatched a vehicle for each and every call and verified that the person was not Laundrie.”
So far, the tips haven’t lead to any leads on his whereabouts.
Laundrie reportedly left his house last Tuesday and vanished. His parents told investigators that he took a backpack and said he was going to the Carlton Reserve, a recreational area in Sarasota County. But they didn’t report him missing until Friday. Police ended major searches in the preserve on Monday after finding no credible leads.
Laundrie is a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Gabby Petito. The couple was on a cross-country trip to national parks as part of a YouTube “Van Life” channel. She last spoke to her parents on Aug. 25 to say they were in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. Investigators found a body that matches Petito’s description in the national park on Sunday. But an autopsy set for Tuesday will determine if it is her.
911 Call: Laundrie Reportedly Seen ‘Slapping’ Gabby Petito
On Aug. 12, police in Utah received a 911 call that claimed a man was “slapping” a woman in a supposed domestic dispute. The caller said the couple was on the side of the road in Moab, Utah. The man, later identified as Brian Laundrie, reportedly slapped Petito, ran up and down the sidewalk, and “proceeded to hit her,” Fox News reported. They then climbed into a white van with Florida license plates and sped off.
The license plate number the caller gave matched the ones on Gabby Petito’s converted van. Moab police pulled it over later that day.
Bodycam footage from a Moab City Police officer during that traffic stop shows a crying Gabby Petito, who told them the couple had a heated argument earlier.
“I’m sorry,” Petito said. “We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues.”
Officers said they thought the couple had an emotional “break” after their long trip rather than a domestic dispute. However, police noted that their stories didn’t match up, but neither wanted to press charges.
“No one reported that the male struck the female, both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged and to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” according to the report, Yahoo said. “There were no significant injures reported and both agreed that Gabbie suffers from serious anxiety.”
Police left Petito with the van and took Laundrie to a hotel. She disappeared two weeks later.