Brian Laundrie seen scouting area where Gabby Petito's body was found on Aug 26, 27 and 28
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING: With Gabby Petito confirmed dead and her fiance Brian Laundrie on the run, mystery is intensifying in the van-life vlogger case that rattled the nation. While searches are on for the 23-year-old Laundrie, a 'person of interest' in the murder case, a shocking claim has been made by the tipster who helped the police find Petito's body.
According to Jessica Schultz, 38, Brian Laundrie was seen behaving in a creepy manner and 'acting weird' around the area where Gabby Petito's remains were eventually found. The graphic designer, who lives out of an Airstream caravan around the Wyoming campsite, informed the FBI that she spotted the couple’s 2012 Ford Transit van in the Grand Teton National Forest multiple times in late August. She eventually aided the police to locate Petito's body near the campsite.
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Schultz shared with San Francisco Chronicle that she saw a young, white man, who she later found to be similar to Brian Laundrie, scouting the area where Gabby Petito's body was apparently buried. Between August 26 and August 28, she saw their white van without the man or anyone else near it. The vehicle was parked on a one-car width road near a dispersed camping site.
While Schultz is not certain why Laundrie might have scouted the area, she found his behavior suspicious and out of the ordinary. "He was just acting weird. You know, when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your hackles go up when you see something that’s out of the ordinary,” she shared.
Schultz further added that she noticed a familiar item in the police bodycam footage where Petito and Laundrie were seen fighting and Petito crying hysterically. On the car dashboard, a straw hat was visible that convinced Schultz that it was the same couple she had seen at the campsite. "My friend texted me a picture of the hat on the dashboard and I just lost my s***. And that’s when I called the FBI (on Thursday) and said, ‘Guys, look at Spread Creek," Schultz said.
When Schultz later drove by the Ford Transit van on August 26, she stopped to check who was inside and invite them for a chat. However, she recalled seeing only a young white man and there was no woman with her. "There’s definitely nobody in that passenger seat; like he definitely doesn’t have a girl in there," she shared, adding that it made her skip on the invitation.
Meanwhile, another witness and fellow camper named Chris, has claimed to the Moab City Police that he saw Laundrie and Petito fighting bitterly on August 12, 2021. He also overheard bits of their conversation where Petito was calling his fiance 'mean'.
"..it appeared that [Laundrie] didn’t want [Petito] in the white van. I heard her say ‘why do you have to be so mean?'. It was as if the guy was trying to leave her, and maybe take her phone? Not sure but wanted to help out," Chris told the police.