U.S. Marshals pulled guns on a New York man resembling the former fiancé of Gabby Petito at a North Carolina resort, the New Yorker reported Saturday.
Severin Beckwith and Anna Brettman, a young couple from Ithaca, New York, were staying at the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort during their hiking trip from Georgia to North Carolina along the Appalachian Trail, the outlet reported. Armed U.S. Marshals kicked in the door and raided the couple’s room.
“Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘U.S. Marshals’ written on them,” Beckwith said, according to the New Yorker. “Handguns pointed at my face.”
Authorities handcuffed Beckwith, who had been napping shortly before the raid, and helped him get dressed, the outlet reported.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 18, 2021
Authorities suspected that Beckwith was Brian Laundrie—the fugitive that went missing following the discovery of Petito’s remains shortly after returning from a cross country trip in September. Authorities confirmed that the 22-year-old died from strangulation in an Oct. 12 announcement.
Beckwith, like Laundrie, reportedly has a “notch” in the upper portion of his inner ear, a bald head and a dark-brown beard, the outlet reported. He also booked the room with a credit card linked to a Long Island I.D., where Petito was originally from. (RELATED: Lawyer Reveals New Claim About Brian Laundrie’s Whereabouts Before Gabby Petito’s Death)
Authorities shortly realized that Beckwith did not have Laundrie’s hand tattoos and his I.D. did not match the fugitive’s, according to the outlet. The marshals fingerprinted Beckwith and then released him, suggesting that he shave his beard, the outlet reported.
Beckwith told the outlet that an employee responded strangely to his request to use a telephone after he entered the Fontana Lake marina to request a shuttle to the lodge. The unidentified worker reportedly took a picture of him and passed along to authorities.
The marshals had side-by-side photographs of Beckwith and Laundrie both calling to get a shuttle, he told the outlet.
A man recently reported to the FBI that he spotted Laundrie while driving along the Appalachian Trail, saying he had “no doubt in his mind” that he communicated with the suspect himself.
The FBI has had a warrant issued for Laundrie’s arrest since Sept. 23 after he had been named a person of interest in the disappearance and later discovery of Petito. The Moab City Police Department released body cam footage that showed an emotionally distraught Petito next to a calm Laundrie. Authorities were informed that Laundrie had been allegedly hitting his fiancé on the side of the road.