A WOMAN has claimed she spotted a man who she is now certain was Brian Laundrie "acting weird" around the area where his girlfriend, Gabby Petito was found dead.
Jessica Schultz, 38, a graphic designer who has lived out of an Airstream for more than four years, told the San Francisco Chronicle that she and a fellow camper have spoken to the FBI about what they believe they saw.
On Tuesday, FBI Denver confirmed a body found in a Wyoming camping area where Schultz claims she saw the individual and a white van was that of Petito.
Authorities are currently looking for Laundrie, who is caught up in a believed homocide case that has gripped the nation.
He and Petito, 22, were roughly two months into a four-month adventure when Laundrie returned to his Florida home with their van on September 1.
Now, Laundrie is also missing, and police began to search a 24,000-acre Florida nature preserve over the weekend without success.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Scultz said that she first spotted the white van – which she now believes to have been Petito and Laundrie's – near Grand Teton National Park one evening in late August.
The vehicle was traveling on a one-car-width road near a dispersed camping area called Spread Creek in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, Schultz said.
She added that she and a group of campers arrived in the camping area in late August, where they noticed a van that they thought did not seem like it belonged.
Schultz said she saw the van on August 26 along with the young man – and on the 27th and possibly 28th, Schultz believes she saw the van again without the man or anyone around it.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
The graphic designer said: "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.”
It was body cam footage released by police in Utah last week that, Schultz said, convinced her to come forward.
There are a number of vans in the van life community that look like the one Petito and Laundrie used, but in the footage – which showed Petito crying after the couple allegedly fought – Schultz said she noticed a straw hat that she thought she recognized.
“My friend texted me a picture of the hat on the dashboard and I just lost my s—,” Schultz said. “And that’s when I called the FBI (on Thursday) and said, ‘Guys, look at Spread Creek.’”
In a witness statement from Moab City Police, which came to light on Tuesday, a man said he saw Petito and Laundrie fighting on August 12.
The witness said “something seemed off” and “it appeared that he didn’t want her in the white van.”
“I heard her say ‘why do you have to be so mean," the witness added. “It was as if the guy was trying to leave her, and maybe take her phone? Not sure but wanted to help out,” the witness added.
When Schultz saw the van on August 26, she said she pulled around the van to check who was inside, in case they would like to join her group or want to chat.
In seeing the man was much younger, a "generic" young white man, Schultz said she passed on the invitation.
Schultz recalled thinking as she drove by: “There’s definitely nobody in that passenger seat; like he definitely doesn’t have a girl in there.”
She said she remembers thinking that it was unusual that there were not indications anyone was camping there, and that the van was not in a designated parking spot.
Schultz also believes she saw the van on a third day, August 28, as she wondered why the vehicle had not been kicked off the site for not being in a designated spot.
The camper has chronicled her sightings on TikTok, and she claims she and a friend told FBI agents on Thursday the coordinates where they last saw the van.
Schultz said someone with the FBI called her and her friends back for an interview just before 10 a.m. Sunday, after the remains of a woman matching Petito's description were found.
An agent thanked the group for tipping them off with the correct location, Schultz said.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS
Source: Read Full Article