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Hiker Who Claims To Have Talked To Brian Laundrie Says He Was Headed To California To ‘See His Girlfriend’

Photo: YouTube
Brian Laundrie

A hiker on the Appalachian Trail believes he encountered Brian Laundrie early on October 2 near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. 

Dennis Davis says a man in a white pickup truck stopped and asked him for directions while he was making a three-point turn at Waterville Road in Hartford, Tennessee, at approximately 12:35 a.m. ET.

Davis says he is “absolutely” certain the man is Brian Laundrie, the person of interest in Gabby Petito’s homicide, and the “odd” encounter may give a clue as to where Laundrie is headed.

Is Brian Laundrie going to California?

Davis says the man he claims was Laundrie told him he was heading to California. 

“He said, ‘My girlfriend and I got into a fight, but she called me and told me that she loved me — and I’ve got to get to California to see her,'" Davis claims. 

RELATED: Location Of Phone Brian Laundrie Used On Road Trip Unknown As FBI Investigate New Phone Bought Before He Went Missing

The Laundrie lookalike seemed “messed up” and dishevelled, Davis says. 

The alleged encounter with Laundrie is the latest update in the ongoing search for the Florida native who was reported missing by his parents on September 17

Now, many are theorizing if or why Laundrie might be headed for California. 

Brian Laundrie could be on the Appalachian Trail to avoid being seen. 

Davis encountered the man in the middle of the night on a quiet road. It’s possible Laundrie is traveling this route in order to encounter as few people as possible.

Davis also recalled telling the man to take a busier route which was rebuffed. 

RELATED: People Are Comparing Photos Of Brian Laundrie's Feet To A Footprint Dog The Bounty Hunter Found During His Search

“I said, ‘Well, I-40 is right there and you could take it west to California’ and he said, ‘I’m just going to take this road into California.’

“He was worried and not making sense.”

It does seem somewhat unlikely, however, that Laundrie would stop and ask for directions if he had no desire to be seen. 

Brian Laundrie could be going to one of three different Californias. 

Online sleuths have pointed out that the man Davis spoke to could have been referring to California, Georgia or California, North Carolina — and not California state, as was previously assumed.

California, Georgia is located just over 3 hours from where Laundrie was allegedly spotted and California, North Carolina would be around a 7 hour drive away. 

By contrast, the state of California would take at least 24 hours of driving to reach. 

Alleged sightings have already placed Brian Laundrie in North Carolina and on the Appalachian Trail.

Many theorized that Laundrie could be using his familiarity with the Appalachian Trail to hide out after images emerged of a man who looks similar to Laundrie hiking the trail.

RELATED: Clip From Body Cam Video Shows How Much Gabby Petito Feared Being Away From Brian Laundrie — And Why It's Relatable To So Many Women

Then, alleged sightings of Laundrie in North Carolina led some to speculate that he was hiding with his grandfather there

Police later confirmed this was incorrect. Police from Haywood County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office who responded to Davis’ alleged sighting say deputies ran checks on three idle vehicles in the area but they all came up inconsequential. 

Though Laundrie is not an official suspect in Petito’s death, he has been the subject of intense suspicion after he returned home alone from the couple’s cross-country trip weeks before Petito’s body was found in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

There is a federal warrant out for Laundrie’s arrest for unauthorized use of a debit card that is believed to have belonged to Petito. 

RELATED: Lawyer Claims The FBI May Know Where Brian Laundrie Is — He Says They're Waiting To Arrest Him

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.