3:04 PM PDT, October 4, 2021
A hiker is convinced he ran into Brian Laundrie near the Appalachian Trail. Dennis Davis, an engineer, says the man was driving a white pickup truck and stopped to ask him the way to California using back roads.
The encounter happened about 8 miles south of the town of Hartford, Tennessee. In the 911 call, Davis misidentified Laundrie’s last name as “Lauer.”
“He was talking wild. He said that his girlfriend loved him and he had to go out to California to see her,” Davis told the dispatcher.
Davis is still hiking the trail and unable to communicate with the outside world, but Inside Edition spoke to his wife, Tammy.
“He said he is 100% sure, he would bet his life on it, that that was him,” Tammy said.
Davis said he directed the man to Interstate 40, which runs 2,500 miles all the way to California.
“Dennis just said his demeanor was off. First he thought he was on drugs, he was kind of wigging out. He was not speaking clearly. Just very nervous, anxious,” Tammy said.
“They described a piece of clothing to me that matched one of her favorite sweatshirts that we knew was — that we knew was hers,” Petito’s father Joseph said.
When asked by Dr. Phil, the family said they all believe that Laundrie is hiding out somewhere.
“Why do you believe that?” Dr. Phil asked.
“‘Cause he’s a coward,” Joseph said.
Dr. Phil told Inside Edition he sees disturbing warning signs about Laundrie in the now-notorious Aug. 12 encounter with police in Moab, Utah.
“The manner that he showed this, what I call duper’s delight — this kind of pleasure that he takes in being in control and pulling the wool over the police eyes. The fact that he was kind of smug about that whole situation, seems very manipulative to me and that was troubling,” Dr. Phil said.
Dr. Phil is airing a two-part special on the case this week.