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Gabby Petito disappearance: Woman says she and her boyfriend picked up Laundrie hitchhiking

Gabby Petito's last known location was in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park
Posted at 3:17 PM, Sep 17, 2021

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Police in North Port, Florida confirmed to FOX 13 News late Friday that they are in contact with a woman who claims she picked up Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of missing woman Gabby Petito, as he was hitchhiking alone in Grand Teton National Park in late August.

NPPD officials confirmed that they have been in contact with the TikTok user, Miranda Baker. They say her story is "possibly credible."

In a video on TikTok published Friday, Baker she and her boyfriend picked up Brian Laundrie on Aug. 29. She said Laundrie was hiking alone in Grand Teton National Park at 5:30 p.m.

This alleged incident was four days after Petito's family last heard from her and three days before Laundrie showed up in Florida alone, driving the van that the couple was traveling in.

Baker recalled the alleged encounter across several videos and said she and her boyfriend had been in contact with authorities before she published the videos.

FBI arrives in Wyoming to take over search for Gabby Petito

"He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, you know, 'Hop in,' and he hopped in the back of my Jeep," Baker said. "He offered to pay us like $200 to give him a ride like 10 miles. So, that was kind of weird."

Baker then recounted the alleged story Laundrie told them.

@mirandabaker_

#gabbypetito #findgabby #brianlaundrie

♬ original sound - Miranda Baker

"He said he had been camping for multiple days without his fiance," Baker recalled. "And that she was working on their social media page back at their van."

van web.png
The 2012 Ford white converted camper van that Petito and her boyfriend were traveling in.

Baker said when she mentioned to Laundrie that they were driving to Jackson Hole, Laundrie "freaked out" and asked them to pull over and he exited the Jeep.

Baker said they let him out near Jackson Dam in Grand Teton National Park.

"It was a weird situation," Baker said. "When we picked him up he was wearing a backpack, he had a long sleeve, pants, hiking boots, and he had like, scruff. Um, but, he didn't look dirty. For someone who was camping for multiple days, like, he didn't look dirty, he didn't smell dirty. So that part was kind of weird."

Baker said she shared the story on TikTok in case it jogs anyone else's memory who may have encountered him.

@mirandabaker_

#findgabby #brianlaundrie #gabbypetito #wheresgabby

♬ original sound - Miranda Baker

Utah law enforcement experts believe finding Gabby Petito will be 'extremely difficult' without boyfriend's help

In a second video, Baker said Laundrie allegedly told her that he and Petito were camping along Snake River on an unregulated campground, "basically out in the middle of nowhere."

Laundrie allegedly told them he had been "hiking for days along Snake River."

Baker then recalled how unprepared Laundrie looked for someone who had been hiking and camping outside for days.

"Looking at his backpack, it wasn't full," Baker said. "He said all he had was a tarp to sleep on. Which, you think if you're going camping for days on end, you'd want food and a tent, and he had none of that."

@mirandabaker_

#findgabby #brianlaundrie #gabbypetito #wheresgabby

♬ You Are Enough - Sleeping At Last

In a third video, Baker showed a map of their alleged journey with Laundrie and pointed out where they dropped him off at a turn-out road next to Jackson Dam.

"He said he was going to walk across the street to the parking lot, which was full of people, to continue hitchhiking," Baker said.

Baker described Laundrie's demeanor as "very nice, very polite" and calm.

@mirandabaker_

#findgabby #brianlaundrie #gabbypetito #wheresgabby

♬ original sound - Miranda Baker

In a fourth TikTok video on Friday, Baker clarified that she had been in "constant contact" with the FBI in the days prior to her posting the videos.

"Everything I have told you, [the FBI does] know," said Baker. "I'm just putting this out here to maybe reach people who had seen him that day, or maybe, had been in contact with him after me and my boyfriend had been in contact with him."

Three days after this alleged encounter, Laundrie was back at his parent's home in North Port, Florida where he retained a lawyer and has not spoken to law enforcement.

In a new development Friday night, however, Laundrie's parents told law police through their attorney that they haven't seen him since Tuesday.

"We understand the community's frustration, we are frustrated too. For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian's Fiancé Gabby Petito. Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail," a statement from the department read. "It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations."

READ: Timeline of Gabby Petito's Utah travels

The main search for Petito on Friday remained focused on the Grand Teton area, where the FBI had taken charge.

Sgt. Clayton Platt of the Teton County Sheriff's Office told Fox News Friday that investigators were conducting physical searches in the area of Grand Teton National Park, but would not disclose where exactly they were looking for signs of Petito.

If you have any knowledge of the whereabouts or had any contact with Gabby Petito or Brian Laundrie, you're asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.