Tennessee – A Florida man hiking the Appalachian Trail claims he saw Brian Laundry driving in a white pickup truck at about 12:30 a.m. ET on Saturday in Tennessee, near the North Carolina border.
Dennis Davis, who spoke twice on Saturday to several news outlets, including Granthshala News Digital, said it was not the first time it was registered that the driver may have been laundry, but after the encounter, he saw pictures of the fugitive wanted on debit card fraud. allegations, and then he felt confident enough to see the FBI twice, as well as 911 operators in Tennessee and North Carolina.
“No doubt about it. That was Brian Laundry I was just talking to. 100%. No doubt in my mind,” Davis said of the encounter after viewing both a picture and a profile shot of Laundry on her phone. Said about
Laundry is on lam and is wanted on bank fraud charges after his 22-year-old fiancée Gabby Pettito was found dead in Wyoming last month.
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Davis and a few other hikers were about to leave a car at the northern terminus of the Application Trail, and he was going to sleep at the trailhead on Friday night. He accidentally passed a parking lot near the trail and was on his way to take a U-turn on Waterville Road when “a vehicle came” from behind him and flashed his headlights as if to signal to Davis that he should take his U-turn. Can complete the turn.
After completing his U-turn, he was driving back in the direction of the pickup truck when the man driving him pulled his hand out of the vehicle.
“I pulled up next to the vehicle,” Davis explained. “… I rolled my window down and I started talking to the gentleman. I could tell right away that something was not right with him.”
His immediate thought was that the driver was “on drugs at first,” but upon reflection, Davis said he was “mentally shot.” Davis said the driver “didn’t look dirty at all.”
related: Gabby Petito: timeline of 22-year-old woman’s disappearance, death
The driver then tells Davis that he is lost and is trying to get to California after a fight with his girlfriend.
“He said me and my girlfriend had a fight, and man, I love him, and he called me, and I need to go to California to see him,” Davis explained. Davis then asked the driver to take I-40 West, but the driver said no and would prefer to stay on Waterville Road along the Pigeon River.
“He said, ‘No, I think there’s this road we’re walking – I’m taking it to California,'” Davis said.
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The hiker later thought of the encounter as he began driving again and began to wonder if it was laundry.
“So I got to the next place where I was going to park and I opened my phone and I started looking at pictures. And when I was talking to her what really stood out to me: she had a lot of stuff.” But it was short, very thick, dark, black beard and mustache. And so when I parked my car and I took a picture of him on the internet… and he had a beard and a mustache,” Davis said.
At the time, the hiker was 95% sure he had seen the laundry and called the FBI. When he got off the phone with the FBI, he looked at another profile shot of the laundry and then felt 100% confident that he saw the fugitive, at which point he called the FBI a second time, as well as the Tennessee and North Carolina police. .
related: ‘Grabbed Me With His Nail’: Gabby Petito Describes Utah Fight With Brian Laundry In Recently Released Bodycam
The Haywood County, North Carolina, sheriff’s office said on its dispatch that they received a call from Davis at about 2:40 a.m. Saturday near the Waterville exit, where he did laundry and did cell service again to see photos. He relates the story to the police, and the sheriff’s office sends two to three deputies to the area. The deputy came across three inactive vehicles, which they fled, but all turned out to be irrelevant and were likely hikers’ vehicles.
The sheriff’s office, which said it had received about 10 more sightings and calls between Saturday and Sunday, sent a team to mile marker seven near the Waterville exit. Tips have been picked up over the past few days, but none are as specific as Davis’s. A woman probably called the laundry saying she saw a man with slender legs.
As of Sunday morning, neither the FBI nor the police had contacted Davis. Neither the FBI, nor the many police departments and sheriff’s offices described in the areas of Tennessee and North Carolina Davis responded to inquiries from Granthshala News.
People have reported several possible laundry sightings across the country as his whereabouts are unknown in the high-profile case. Last month, people reported possible sightings in Mobile, Alabama, where a man was found dead near a local Walmart store, and in trail camera footage of Baker in Okalosa County, Florida.
related: Gabby Petito update: Everything is known about the disappearance, the death, the autopsy
A person who informed Granthshala News last month of a possible Brian Laundry sighting in New Jersey said, “It was like pulling teeth for law enforcement to act. [sighting],” and some officers were “rude” over the phone.
Xander McDowall, co-owner of a bounty hunting team called Predator Hunter Nation, confirmed to Granthshala News that he had spoken to Davis and is exploring the area he described.
Investigators working with Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman are also working on parts of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina as they continue to search for laundry. Chapman’s daughter Lisa Chapman said her father’s team is working on “confirming” several new clues in a Saturday tweet.
The laundry search continues, with people claiming to have seen the 23-year-old avid traveler in Watauga County, North Carolina, according to multiple reports. Users in Appalachian Classifieds, a private Facebook page, described how people were “reporting seeing Brian Laundry in Boone, NC,” According to Watauga Democrats.
related: FBI agents keep watch outside Brian Laundry’s family home
Watauga County Sheriff’s Office reported local ally Granthshala 46“We were investigating these claims, but nothing has been verified.” Sheriff Len Hagman told Granthshala News that the department is “only monitoring social media reposts – nothing valid.”
The Appalachian Trail as a whole is “the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, from Maine to Georgia,” according to Appalachian Trail Conservancy. It spans over 2,193 miles and spans 14 states. alone in north carolinaThe Appalachia Trail covers a distance of 96.4 miles and reaches elevations of up to 5,498 feet.
Both Laundry and Petito reportedly hike parts of the Appalachian Trail. in March, Petito shared a picture on Instagram With a geotag for the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
And a woman who says she was one of Petito’s best friends, Rose Davis, told people That the laundry “stayed in the Appalachians alone for months.”
Laundry and Petito were traveling around the country in a Ford Transit van over the summer, before Laundry returned to his home in North Port, Florida, on September 1 in a van without Petito. Petito’s parents reported his disappearance 10 days later on September 11. Laundry’s parents reported Laundry missing on September 17, but said they last saw her on September 14.
After Petito’s missing persons report was filed on September 11, Laundry would not cooperate with the police investigation, officials said. Lawyers for Laundry’s issued a statement on September 14, announcing that they have advised their clients to “stay in the background.” The family revealed three days later that they had not seen him since September 14.
Pettito’s body was discovered on September 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A Teton County coroner ruled the death a homicide but has yet to announce a cause.
Granthshala News’ Stephanie Pagones, Michael Ruiz and Kathleen Rushkal contributed to this report.