Brian Laundrie Arrested: Manhunt for Fugitive Ends in a Gunpoint? [DETAILS]
Federal agents on the Appalachian Trail in western North Carolina arrested "Brian Laundrie." Could this be the end of the manhunt? Turns out, no, it's not yet the end.
When the authorities learned that a man who looked suspiciously like the sought 23-year-old was staying at the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort, they acted quickly. Instead of Brian Laundrie, they ended up with a man named Severin Beckwith.
Since the end of September, Beckwith and his hiking companion, Anna Brettmann - a young couple from Ithaca, New York, - have been trekking the famed Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Virginia.
They had arrived at Fontana Dam and were contemplating whether or not to break their journey there. After all, the days previous had been filled with heavy rain and little sleep. The couple called a shuttle to the resort using the phone of a Fontana Village Resort & Marina staffer. They arrived, settled down for lunch, and then went to bed early to rest up for the next day.
Knocking on their chamber door that escalated into hammering shortly interrupted their slumber. The door slammed open before they had a chance to respond.
"Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with 'U.S. Marshals' written on them," Beckwith told The New Yorker. "Handguns pointed at my face."
He asserted that he and Brettmann were both indecently attired. Beckwith was brought to the hallway in his underpants as a marshal helped him get out of bed and dress. He told the outlet he had a feeling he had been mistaken for Brian Laundrie, and he "really hoped [he] was right."
Not only have there been multiple claims of Brian sightings on the path, but a hiker said he was "99.99 percent positive" he saw and spoke to the "wigged-out" fugitive.
Marshals stroked Beckwith's head, and he noticed "a notch in the upper portion of [his] inner ear much like [Laundrie]," which he later confirmed.
Beckwith and Brettmann paid for their hotel stay with a credit card associated with a New York state identification card.
While Petito was from Brooklyn, FBI agents are also looking for Laundrie because she is suspected of using a Capital One debit card belonging to an unidentified individual to charge $1000 in the period from August 31 to September 1, which coincidentally fell during the time period in which the coroner who conducted Petito's autopsy believes she was killed by manual strangulation.
As Beckwith sees it, the apparent connection "was good enough motive [for authorities] to come in." But certainly, not good enough.
WIth a botched arrest attempt, the police is now once more in the lookout.
According to a close acquaintance, Brian Laundrie has the means to leave the country lawfully.
Gabby Petito's on-the-run fiancé had intentions to live outside the US since high school, according to Laundrie's longtime friend, who spoke exclusively to The Sun.