A TikToker from Wisconsin has gone viral after she claimed to have picked up Brain Laundrie, the missing van-life woman Gabby Petito's boyfriend, as he was hitchhiking alone in Wyoming five days before she went missing and a day before she last texted her mother. Police is now talking to Miranda Baker after the TikToker claimed to have given Laundrie a ride at Grand Teton National Park on August 29.
Meanwhile, in the latest twist to the mysterious disappearance of Petito, her boyfriend Laundrie too has now gone missing, with police frantically trying to search for him. The FBI is now looking for both Petito and Laundrie and trying to verify Baker's claims at the same time.
Baker said that she and her boyfriend gave Laundrie a ride at Grand Teton National Park, just four days after Petito called her family to say she was in the park, and four days after her last Instagram photo before she mysteriously disappeared. According to the TikTok user, Laundrie approached the couple and asked them for a ride at aro9und 5:30 pm.
"He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, ya know, "hop in" and he hopped in the back of my Jeep," Baker explained.
A few minutes later at around 6:09 pm, when Baker mentioned "Jackson Hole", he asked to get out, the TikToker said. "Once I said Jackson Hole he became agitated," she said in one of the videos. "He seemed like he needed to get out, he was kind of antsy. And that's when things got weird."
Baker poster a series of four videos on social media claiming that the person she had given a ride was Laundrie. She even described his appearance saying that he was wearing "a backpack, a long sleeve, pants and hiking boots." Although agitated, he even offered to pay the couple $200 to give him a 10-mile ride.
Laundrie also claimed in one of the videos that she want to pass on the information so that it could help solve Petito's case. "I'm hoping this can help someone identify him, because I saw him from TikTok, which then 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," she said.
Not a Very Pleasant Interaction
The TikToker also said that the brief interaction with Laundrie was quiet strange, both she and her boyfriend felt. After Laundrie offered them money and told them that he needed to get down, she and her boyfriend "then proceeded to make small talk" with Laundrie and found out he had been camping for multiple days without his fiancÃ©e.
"He did say he had a fiancÃ©e and that she was working on their social media page back at their van," the woman said. Baker also claimed in one of the videos that Laundrie told them that they were not camping on a regulated campsite in the park but were "basically out in the middle of nowhere along Snake River," she said.
Baker then recounted the alleged story Laundrie told her and her boyfriend: "This is key information. He said that he had hiked for days along Snake River but looking at his backpack, it wasn't full. And he said all he had was a tarp to sleep on. And, if you'd think you're going camping for days on end you'd want food and a tent and he had none of that."
Police is now talking to Baker to find out the authenticity of her claims and if so was it really Laundrie.
A spokesperson for the department, Joshua Taylor, confirmed to The Independent they had spoken to Baker. "We have talked to her," he said in an email. "That is all I can confirm."
Laundrie Goes Missing
If true, the alleged encounter between Baker, her boyfriend and Laundrie would have taken place just one day before Petito's mother received a text from her phone on August 30. Laundrie returned to Florida alone on September 1 in the van registered to Petito but has since refused to talk and in a latest twist in the tale has now gone missing.
Interesting, Laundrie went missing the same day Baker made the claims and just two days after he was officially named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance. Police is now fanatically trying to look for him.
That said, besides, Baker, there have been other witnesses too who have spoken of seeing Petito and Laundrie at various points during their travels. Jaye Foster, who is from Alabama, and traveling the US in his own bus, met the couple near Moab, Utah, on 10 August. He told The Independent: "There seemed to be nothing wrong whatsoever. On the surface at least. They both seemed perfectly fine in the 45 minutes I hung out with them before going on my hike at Arches."