A man who looks similar to Brian Laundrie, the sole person authorities are looking for in the Gabby Petito case, said he was ambushed and held at gunpoint by US Marshals.
Severin Beckwith and his partner Anna Brettman had their hotel room raided while they were sleeping during a trip near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
They were planning to hike from Georgia to Virginia and decided to stay at the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort to get some sleep.
Severin says that before he could even unlock the door US Marshals burst into the room with guns drawn and holding up riot shields.
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He told the New Yorker : "Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘US Marshals’ written on them. Handguns pointed at my face.”
Severin, who was still in his underwear, was handcuffed and taken into the hotel hallway while investigators tried to confirm his identity.
Gabby, 22, was reported missing in September after Laundrie, 23, returned from a cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon without her.
Gabby was last seen leaving a hotel with Laundrie in Utah in late August.
After a widespread search for her, the social media influencer's remains were found in a remote area in Wyoming, US, on September 19.
Laundrie disappeared from his home in North Port on September 14 after telling his parents he was going for a hike.
Law enforcement has been desperately looking for Laundrie as he is the only person of interest named in Gabby's death.
US Marshals let Severin go due to his lack of knuckle tattoos and personal ID papers.
One federal agent reportedly suggested he shave his beard to avoid further confusion during his hike along the Appalachian Trail.
Severin believes someone alerted federal agents after mistaking him for Laundrie.
He claims the marshals showed him a photo that a witness discreetly took, which showed him on his mobile phone.
He said: "They had a little side-by-side. It was Brian and then me on the phone calling to get the shuttle."
He was later released and given a free night's stay at the lodge for their "unique troubles".
Gabby was last seen on August 27 when she apologized to restaurant staff after Laundrie argued with them.
Several days later, Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1 alone while Gabby was left alone in a hotel in Utah.
Her family reported her missing on September 11.
Laundrie has refused to speak to the cops and was also reported missing on September 17.
Gabby's remains were found in Wyoming two days later on September 19 and her death was ruled a homicide.
Police issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest on September 24.Read More Read More