Entertainment And News

North Carolina Police Respond To Claims That Brian Laundrie Is Hiding At His Grandfather's Home

Photo: Moab Police Department / Facebook / Instagram
Brian Laundrie found by Chad Nesbitt

The search for Brian Laundrie is nearing the end of its second week with yet another possible sighting of the person of interest involved in Gabby Petito’s homicide case.

Laundrie is now suspected to be hiding out in North Carolina, according to rumors that have surfaced online. 

Speculation emerged due to the states proximity to the Appalachian Trail — somewhere people believe he’s hiding — and the claim that Laundrie’s grandfather, Thomas Laundrie, lives in New Bern.

Is Brian Laundrie in North Carolina?

The public submitted tips about possible Laundrie sightings in New Bern, North Carolina, and SKYline News’ Chad Nesbitt decided to investigate.

“We believe we have found Brian Laundrie,” claims the video he posted — and later deleted — on Facebook.

“We have had several tips come out from here in Western North Carolina that he was along the Appalachian Trail,” he continues.

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The Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,000 miles and passes through 14 states, does pass through western North Carolina — on the opposite side of the state from New Bern.

Nesbitt alleged that Brian Laundrie could be with his grandfather in New Bern.

Nesbitt revealed that a tip was given to SKYline News claiming to know the exact car that Laundrie had been driving around.

“It is a white Hyundai Sonata. We had the tag number,” he said, “we’ve had the tag number run and it comes back to the grandfather of this guy Brian Laundrie,” referring to Thomas.

RELATED: How Dog The Bounty Hunter May Be Hindering The Brian Laundrie Manhunt And Possible Future Trial

“We believe we have found him,” Nesbitt continues. “We’ve got a picture of him. We have contacted the local law enforcement about it.”

While it is true that there is a Thomas Laundrie living in New Bern, it is not verified whether or not this is Brian Laundrie's relative.

Images were shared of a Brian Laundrie lookalike in North Carolina.

The picture in question features a man in a bright red t-shirt with a matching hat on the phone with someone.

According to Nesbitt, the man was seen ducking into the bushes to hide from the person who took the picture.

Police responded to the alleged sightings of Brian Laundrie in North Carolina.

According to the Sheriff of Watauga County, which houses Boone, none of the 6-7 reported sightings or information on Brian have been substantiated.

“Sheriff Len Hagaman says in general,” Brandon Goldner with WCNC tweets, “hikers in the NC mountains should call deputies if they see anything suspicious”

Shannon Clowe, a news reporter with 10 Tampa Bay also contacted law enforcement officials in the New Bern Police Department, who gave a similar reply.

RELATED: FBI Allegedly Investigating Claim That Brian Laundrie Activated A Burner Phone On The Day He Disappeared

“New Bern police officers collaborated with the Raleigh branch office of the FBI and four FBI agents who arrived in New Bern to further the investigation,” reads the email received by the reporter. “At the conclusion of our efforts, we do not believe he was, or is, in New Bern.”

The video posted by SKYline News reporter Chad Nesbitt was taken off Facebook as the claims appear to have been disproven, but the police in North Carolina remain vigilant despite that.

All leads for Brian Laundrie seem to come up short.

Brian disappeared on September 14th when he told his parents, Christopher and Roberta, that he was going on a hike in the Carlton Reserve and never came back. 

They reported him missing 3 days later on the 17th.

Since then, Brian has remained a person of interest in the case of Petito’s murder and has is the subject of a federal arrest warrant on charges for “Unauthorized Use of Access Devices” after accumulating $1,000 worth of items from Petito’s banking accounts.

Almost two weeks have passed since his disappearance, and all leads have come up short with Brian ‘sightings’ occurring from Mexico to the Bahamas, and seemingly everywhere along the east coast.

Christopher and Roberta continue to remain uninvolved as their lawyer Steven Bertolino handles all questioning.

RELATED: Dog The Bounty Hunter Claims He Found Fresh Campsite Where Brian Laundrie Could Have Been Hiding

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.