A hiker taking a nap along the Appalachian Trail had a rude awakening late last month.
“Severin Beckwith and Anna Brettmann, a young couple from Ithaca, New York, have been hiking from Georgia to Virginia on the Appalachian Trail since late September,” The New Yorker wrote. “In western North Carolina, after a few days of hard rain and little sleep, they decided to take a break from the woods. A shuttle delivered them to the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort, a rustic retreat two miles off the trail, where they ate lunch and lay down for a midday nap. Knocking awoke them. There was a muffled voice outside their door. It burst open before Beckwith could unlock it.”
From The New Yorker:
“Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘U.S. Marshals’ written on them,” Beckwith said. “Handguns pointed at my face.” Brettmann was still in bed. A marshal helped her get dressed as they handcuffed Beckwith, still in his underwear, and took him out to the hallway. He had a hunch why this was happening. “I really hoped I was right,” he said.
He was right. Beckwith — who sports a shaved head and a beard — looks a lot like Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, whose body was found in a Wyoming park last month.
Beckwith was handcuffed and fingerprinted.
The Marshals “suggested that he shave his beard — which he did but ‘immediately regretted,’ he said, ‘because I have much less of a chin than Laundrie does.’ They told the couple that they now had a good story to tell. Then they left,” The New Yorker reported.
Laundrie reportedly flew home to Florida after his infamous fight with his girlfriend in Utah — one that drew law enforcement wearing body cameras — then rejoined her just before she vanished.
Petito, 22, was last seen at a Wyoming restaurant on August 27, according to witnesses. Laundrie, 23, returned home alone in her van on September 1. Petito’s body was found September 19 at a campsite at the Teton-Bridger National Forest in Wyoming. A coroner declared her death a homicide and Laundrie has disappeared.
A Florida engineer who claimed to have talked to Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail told the New York Post on Oct. 5 that he would meet with the FBI.
But Dog the Bounty Hunter and his team had been searching for the fugitive in the swampy Carlton Reserve near Sarasota, Fla.
Late last week, police hunting for Laundrie reportedly found a recently used campsite at the Florida park where Laundrie told his parents he was going.
“A source close [to] his family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo last Wednesday that authorities said they ‘found fresh traces of a campsite’ at the sprawling, 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota,” the New York Post reported.
Federal authorities in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant on September 23 for Laundrie for allegedly using a stolen credit card “on or about August 30, 2021, through and including on or about September 1, 2021” when he “obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more,” Yahoo reported.