‘When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your hackles go up when you see something that’s out of the ordinary,’ says witness
An eyewitness has told the FBI she saw Brian Laundrie alone and ‘acting weird’ close to the site where Gabby Petito’s body was found in a Wyoming national park.
Jessica Schultz told the San Francisco Chronicle she spotted the couple’s white Ford Transit van in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. several times in late August.
It was only after she was sent a photo of Mr Laundrie by a friend that she realised the significance of the sighting and reported it to law enforcement.
Ms Schultz also discussed her “creepy” encounter with the man she would later identify as Mr Laundrie on Tik Tok.
Recalling her first encounter on 26 August, Ms Schultz said she was driving behind a white Ford Transit van with Florida plates as it drove slowly down a narrow road, and the driver didn’t seem to know where he was going.
The van’s driver partially pulled off the road, forcing Ms Schultz to drive off the road to get around it.
Looking over at the driver, she noticed he was alone and said he looked like a “generic” white guy.
“He was just acting weird,” Ms Schultz, 38, told The Chronicle.
“You know, when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your hackles go up when you see something that’s out of the ordinary.”
Ms Schultz, a graphic designer who has lived out of her own van for four years, said she paid close attention because she was curious about how other van-lifers travelled.
“He was very awkward and confused and it was just him, there was no Gabby,” Ms Schultz said on TikTok.
Mr Laundrie has not been charged with any crime in relation to his girlfriend’s disappearance, but has been named a “person of interest” by police.
Ms Schultz saw the van parked in the same place on 27 and 28 August, which struck her as odd because it wasn’t a designated camping area. She didn’t see any one in the van, and there were no signs of a campsite being set up.
A friend sent Ms Schultz bodycam footage of a domestic dispute between Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie in Moab, Utah, on 12 August, and she instantly recognised it as being he van she had passed in Bridger-Teton.
“My friend texted me a picture of the hat on the dashboard and I just lost my s***,” Ms Schultz told The Chronicle.
“And that’s when I called the FBI (on Thursday) and said, ‘Guys, look at Spread Creek.’”
A body which the FBI believes is Ms Petito was found near the creek on Sunday.