A traveler has recounted what he claims was a disturbing encounter with Brian Laundrie a day before his girlfriend Gabby Petito was last seen alive.
Hunter Mannies, 44, from Louisiana, has said he believes he saw Laundrie wearing a hoodie and having a drink by himself in Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone, Montana on August 26.
But he claims that Laudrie was giving off an ‘uncomfortable vibe’ during the time he was in the bar, before insulting southerners and Republican voters.
‘He was just mad at the world it seemed like. I didn’t pay attention to him other than that he and this other couple were the only ones in there,’ Mannies told The New York Post.
Hunter Mannies, 44, believes he had an encounter with Brian Laundrie, 23, in a bar one day before Gabby Petito, 22, went missing
Laundrie was sitting alone at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone August 26
Towards the end of the evening, Mannies together with a doctor friend began chatting with the another couple who was also a doctor together with her partner.
‘The convo got into hunting and guns and politics,’ Mannies explained, when suddenly Laundrie got involved without being invited to join.
‘The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid southerners and f***ing Republicans.”
The other couple quickly responded: ‘Stupid southerners? She and I both have ‘Dr.’ in front of our names. Do you?’ they said.
‘I kind of laughed and said, ‘Well, where are you from?’ and he said, ‘New York,’ Mannies explained. ‘And I said, ‘Okay, New York’ and he said, ‘I have a name, it’s Brian.”
Gabby Petitio’s body was found in the Spread Creek campsite in Wyoming on Sunday and the next day her death was ruled a homicide. She is pictured during a police stop in August
Laundrie was last seen more than a week ago and his whereabouts remain unknown. He is pictured during a police stop last month
‘I said, ‘Let me ask you this, New York. What did you expect to find in a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere Montana? Did you expect to find a bunch of Democrats?”
The conversation appeared to end there with Mannies returning to his conversation with the other couple, however he claims that Laundrie was giving off a ‘weird vibe’ with his friend even claiming ‘he had that serial killer look.’
‘He was overly invested in our conversation. We felt watched,’ Mannies told the Post. ‘He wasn’t talking to the bartenders. He was there alone. It just stood out as odd.’
No further thought was given to the encounter until Petito’s disappearance was in the news.
Mannies’ friend called to tell him how she recognized Petito’s boyfriend: ‘She said that’s the crazy guy from the bar.’ Mannie said.
Brian Laundrie, 23, who was reported missing last week, remains a person of interest in the disappearance and death of fiancée Gabby Petito
Mannies later told the FBI about the encounter and spoke with an agent for around 45 minutes.
‘How many people named Brian from New York who look exactly like him are in the middle nowhere at the bar?’ he said.
Meanwhile, it was revealed Monday that Moab Police Chief Bret Edge has requested time off amid an outcry over his department’s handling of a call-out which saw them come face-to-face with Laundrie and Petito on August 12.
The Utah Police Department has launched an independent investigation after its officers separated the couple for the night, but did not arrest Laundrie, after pulling them over.
They are said to have been told by a dispatcher that an eyewitness who called 911 had seen Laundrie hit Petito. Utah law stipulates cops must arrest or cite people they have probable cause to believe carried out an act of domestic violence.
Moab Police Chief Bret Edge, pictured, has taken leave after his department came under scrutiny over its handling of an encounter with Laundrie and Petito
Edge requested time off through the state’s Family Medical Leave Act, and it is unclear if his departure is related to the scandal surrounding Laundrie and Petito.
No information has been given on how long he will be off work, and who will stand in for him.
Petito was last seen alive a day later at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming 120 miles away.
Last week, her remains were discovered in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.
An autopsy has ruled her death a homicide.
Laundrie returned home to the couple’s home in Florida without Petito.
He has since disappeared having refused to cooperate with police over her disappearance.
The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11
Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case
- July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
- August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
- Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
- Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
- Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
- Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
- Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
- Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
- Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
- Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
- Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
- Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
- Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
- Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
- Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
- Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
- Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
- Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
- Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13