A BRIAN Laundrie lookalike has told how a mark on his ear led US Marshals to mistake him for the fugitive fiance of Gabby Petito.
Severin Beckwith's recent hiking trip with his partner Anna Brettman on North Carolina's Appalachian Trail took a frightening turn when agents swarmed the lodge where they were staying at Fontana Village Resort.
Beckwith recalled how the agents burst through the door with guns drawn in an interview with the New Yorker.
"Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with 'U.S. Marshals' written on them," he said. "Handguns pointed at my face."
Beckwith shares several physical similarities with Laundrie - who has been on the run for over a month since his fiancee Gabby vanished - including a beard and bald head.
But Beckwith said there's another feature that fueled the case of mistaken identity: his ear.
He said agents grabbed the side of his head and zeroed in on "a notch in the upper part of my inner ear just like [Laundrie's]."
The Marshals realized they had the wrong person and released him upon checking over Beckwith's drivers license.
He said he was urged to shave his beard to avoid getting confused for Laundrie again.
Beckwith complied but joked that he "immediately regretted" the move "because I have much less of a chin than Laundrie does."
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A manhunt was launched for Laundrie after he was reported missing by his parents on September 17, two days before Gabby's body was found in Wyoming.
His “average” appearance is very common among other male hikers, driving a flood of reported sightings around the country.
Many amateur sleuths have posted pictures of bald men who look like they may be the fugitive fiancé to social media.
Others went so far as to photoshop pictures showing how his appearance may have changed during his time on the lam.
LAUNDRIE'S NEW LOOK
Famed forensic sketch artist Lois Gibson offered her opinions about what Laundrie could look like now.
She said that while his face and hair may have changed, he could still be recognized by his ears.
Gibson had previously told NewsNationNow that even if Laundrie has lost weight and changed his hair, he could still be recognized by his ears.
"Ears are the most complicated object on the surface of the head. They’re more complicated than the eyes, lips, or the nose," Gibson told NewsNationNow.
In an interview with The Sun, the artist added that Laundrie will likely look homeless and have dropped 15 pounds.
Gibson, who holds a Guiness World Record for the most ever identifications by a forensic artistic, shared a series of sketches showing the potential changes to Laundrie's appearance that the wanted 23-year-old may have either intentionally or unintentionally altered.
"I have my opinions" she said. "He's trying to make it a survival thing, which is likely to involve camping.
"When you're out in the open like that, you're going to get a lot of extra sun to the point of suffering some skin damage. He's likely to have a lot of redness or rosacea across his face, like sometimes how you see on a homeless person."
Gibson also believes that Laundrie has likely lost a substantial amount of weight, somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds, "regardless of how much money he has on him."
"He will have lost a bunch of weight," she said. "Even if he's got a bunch of money on him - it's hard to eat when you're on the run. It gnaws away at you.
"Life will be hard for Brian Laundrie right now. Very hard. And that will show in the form of weight loss."
Brian Laundrie timeline
Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie's latest whereabouts:
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