Hunter Mannies, a former deputy from Southern Parish, Louisiana, claimed he had a strange encounter with someone who resembled Brian Laundrie during his road trip through Montana. The Aug. 26 incident occurred at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone, where Mannies said he encountered a man drinking alone and acting weird.
“He was just mad at the world, it seemed like,” Mannies told reporters of the man who had been drinking at the end of the bar. The 44-year-old road trip traveler claimed that the man who resembled Brian Laundrie was wearing a hoodie and had made aggressive comments towards Mannies and other bar patrons.
“I didn’t pay attention to him other than that he and this other couple were the only ones in there,” Hunter Mannies explained. But then Brian Laundrie interrupted a conversation between Mannies and his doctor friend and the couple sitting in the Saloon. There was a physician and her partner, according to reports.
Mannies admitted that “the convo got into hunting and guns and politics,” when he realized that the man who looked like Brian Laundrie was listening in. “The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid Southerners and f—ing Republicans.’”
“I kind of laughed,” Mannies admitted. He then added “‘Well, where are you from?’ and [the man] said, ‘New York.’” Hunter Mannies continued the confrontation, saying “‘Okay, New York’ and [the man] said, ‘I have a name, it’s Brian.’”
“I said, ‘Let me ask you this, New York. What did you expect to find in a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere Montana? Did you expect to find a bunch of Democrats?’”
According to Mannies, the awkward encounter didn’t push the man to leave the bar. Instead, he stayed for a while longer. Hunter Mannies explained that the man “was overly invested in our conversation. We felt watched. He wasn’t talking to the bartenders. He was there alone. It just stood out as odd.”
“It was an odd encounter,” Mannies suggested again during an interview on “Fox & Friends.” But Mannies explained that this all happened on Aug. 26 before Gabby Petito had gone missing and before Brian Laundrie was declared a person of interest.
The incident at Bullwinkle’s Saloon was one day before Gabby Petito was last seen in public. On Aug. 27, Brian Laundrie had an “explosive argument” with employees at the Jackson Hole eatery in Wyoming. Witnesses claimed that Gabby Petito showed embarrassment for her boyfriend’s actions and even apologized to staff during the altercation.
Nina Celie Angelo reported that she and her boyfriend, Matthew England, had been eating lunch at a Tex-Mex restaurant just after noon on Aug. 27 when they saw Laundrie arguing with a restaurant server. He was “agitated” and his body language was “aggressive” Angelo explained to reporters.
Apart from Hunter Mannies, other people who allegedly crossed paths with Brian Laundrie have come out of the woodwork to report his strange behavior. In one such encounter, a woman claimed she picked him up while he was hitchhiking through Grand Teton National Park. The woman claimed he “freaked out” during the ride and asked to get out of the car.
Another woman, Norma Jean Jalovec, made a separate report, alleging that she picked up Laundrie on Aug. 29, two days after Gabby Petito was last seen at the Jackson Hole eatery. Jalovec said she dropped him off at the Spread Creek dispersed camping area, where Petito’s remains were discovered in mid-September.
According to Jalovec, Brian Laundrie asked her to drop him off at the gate of the campground, but she offered to drive him inside since there were miles of campground to cover. Laundrie then tried to get out of the moving car, Jalovec told reporters.
In all the encounters during that late-August timeframe, Laundrie was described as having unusual behavior. Hunter Mannies told reporters that his interaction with the man believed to be Brian Laundrie made him weary. Mannies claimed that “he was making us all extremely uncomfortable.” Mannies admitted that he spoke to the FBI about the sighting for about 45 minutes.
“How many people named Brian from New York who looks exactly like him are in the middle nowhere at the bar?” Mannies said of the encounter.