UWO student helping Gabby Petito investigators after giving ride to boyfriend

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 8:18 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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WYOMING (WBAY) - A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student says she and her boyfriend gave a ride to Brian Laundrie several days after Gabby Petito’s last known communication with her family.

The FBI says a body found Sunday is believed to be Petito. An autopsy is being conducted.

Brian Laundrie remains missing. A search for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve in Florida has been suspended. The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida.

UWO student Miranda Baker took to TikTok to say she and her boyfriend picked up a hitchhiker at Grand Teton National Park on August 29. She says that hitchhiker was Brian Laundrie. They called authorities.

“He got out and he was thankful and he was kind of in a hurry. So he said he was going to go across the street into the parking lot and find someone else to give him a ride. But when we looked back 10 or 15 seconds after he got out of the vehicle, he was gone,” Baker told Good Morning America.

The case has been the source of nationwide intrigue. Laundrie and Petito were on a cross-country van trip and detailing their journey on social media prior to Petito’s disappearance. Petito’s family last heard from the 22-year-old on Aug. 25. That’s when the last photos of the couple together were posted on social media. They were camping at Grand Teton.

It was Aug. 29 when Miranda Baker and her boyfriend picked up the hitchhiker who they say was Laundrie.

“On Aug. 29, my boyfriend and I picked up Brian at Grand Teton National Park at 5:30 at night at Colter Bay. I’m hoping this can help someone identify him because I saw him from TikTok, which made me call the authorities and my boyfriend and I have been in contact with a bunch of different people to help piece together different parts of this case,” Baker says in a TikTok posted three days ago.

“He approached us asking us for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson, which we were going to Jackson that night. I said hop in. He hops in the back of my Jeep. We then proceeded to make small talk. Before he came into the car he offered to pay us like, $200 to give him a ride, like 10 miles. So that was kind of weird. He then told us he’s been camping for multiple days without his fiancée. He did say he had a fiancée, and that she was working on their social media page back at their van. In conversation, I brought up that we’re going to Jackson. He freaked out. He’s like ‘nope, I need to get out right now, you know, pull over.’ So we pulled over at the Jackson Dam. It’s not very far from Colter Bay.”

Baker said Laundrie “had scruff, but didn’t look dirty.” She found that strange because he said he had been camping.

She says they dropped Laundrie off at 6:09 p.m. on Aug. 29. He told them he was going to find someone else to hitch a ride.

Baker did another video mapping out the area where they picked up Laundrie.

Several days later, on Sept. 1, Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida. He and Gabby lived with his parents there.

On Sept. 11, Petito’s family reported her missing. Laundrie chose not to cooperate with authorities.

On Sept. 17, police and the FBI announce that Laundrie is missing and his family saw him three days prior to that date.

On Sept. 19, searchers find the body of a woman in northern Wyoming. They believe it to be Gabby Petito.

Brian Laundrie has been called a person of interest in the case.

On Aug. 12, officers were called to a domestic violence incident involving Petito and Laundrie in Utah. It was captured on bodycam footage. No charges were filed.

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