Gabby Petito Friend Insists Brian Laundrie Is Alive

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A makeshift memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito is located near City Hall on Sept. 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida.

With police focusing their search on a Reserve in Florida for the last week and still having trouble locating Brian Laundrie, who remains as a person of interest in the death of his fiancée Gabby Petito, many are beginning to wonder if the swampy area is actually where he went when he allegedly left his parents North Port home on Sept. 14.

After speaking to police and reporting their son missing on Sept. 17, Laundrie’s parents told police their son had headed to the Carlton Reserve for a hike and had not returned, which has led to police searching the 25,000-acre area for more than a week without Laundrie successfully turning up. Now, after dive teams have also failed to locate him, friends who knew both him and Petito are speaking up, stating that he knows how to survive in nature and could be anywhere.

“He is out in the wilderness, I promise you,” Rose Davis, 21, who identifies as Petito’s best friend, told People. “He’s out there. He is. If he’s alive, he’s out there, camping out...he lived in the Appalachians by himself for months.”

Davis’ comments come after a former co-worker of Laundrie’s spoke out to share that he had previously bragged about his ability to survive on barely anything while camping out.

“In conversation about hiking...Brian talked about the longest time that he spent in the woods was 6 weeks and bragged about only having a large pack of either cheese or peanut butter crackers to sustain him for that time,” the co-worker said. “He is well versed in spending a long time in the woods and living off nearly nothing.”

The inability of authorities to find Laundrie has led many to speculate that he never went to the Reserve and that his actual whereabouts are unknown. He also left his home without a cell phone or a wallet, which complicates the ability to find him.

The pressure on Laundrie has increased since the search for him began, after a Warrant was issued for his arrest for using a debit card that did not belong to him for charges totaling more than $1,000 between the dates of August 30 and September 1.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling cross country by van since July, a journey that Petito was sharing on both her Instagram account and on the Nomadic Statik Youtube channel. Petito last made contact with her family at the end of August, and Laundrie returned to Florida in the van—without her—on Sept. 1. After failed attempts to get in touch with her, Petito’s mom filed a missing person’s report on Sept. 11.

On Sept. 19, authorities found a body in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. It was confirmed on Tuesday that the remains belonged to Petito, and her death was ruled a homicide, though other details have yet to be released.

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Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

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