By Nathan Ham
In the overnight hours early Saturday morning, a hiker on the Appalachian Trail was so sure he was in contact with Brian Laundrie that he contacted the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office to tell them about running into the man who is considered a “person of interest” in the death of his fiance Gabby Petito.
In a story that has been circulated among several national and regional news outlets, hiker Dennis Davis told authorities that he was “100% confident” that the man he ran into that night was indeed Laundrie.
Davenport Gap is located right along the North Carolina and Tennessee border along the Appalachian Trail. Davis was there and told NewsNation that the person he suspected was Laundrie asked how to get to California and was “talking wild.”
David said he was planning on sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a trailhead at Davenport Gap, but decided to drive off after talking to the man and feeling uneasy about how he was acting. After looking up a picture of Laundrie on his phone, Davis said he felt even more confident that was him that he had just talked to.
“My heart was beating in my chest because that was the guy I was talking to for 15 minutes. I’m so confident it’s not funny, I’m just 100% confident it was him,” Davis told NewsNation.
Davis also said in the interview that he would be meeting with the FBI this week.
The last confirmed sighting of Brian Laundrie was on September 14 when his parents say he left their house planning to go camping in the Carlton Nature Reserve in Florida.
Once it was reported that Laundrie could be in Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia along the Appalachian Trail, many tips had been called into local law enforcement agencies across the southeast. According to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman, there have been no verified reports or sightings of Laundrie in the county.
On Monday morning, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office released a statement concerning the reported sighting of Laundrie.
“The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of calls regarding the sighting of Brian Laundrie over the past several days, each one being investigated thoroughly and areas of concern searched, but all to no avail. We will continue to respond and fully investigate all calls for service related to the nationwide search for Mr. Laundrie within our jurisdiction.”