Brian Laundrie, the sole person of interest in the death of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, was a chubby misfit and loner while in school – and was not into social media until the couple embarked on their ill-fated cross-country travels.
A longtime pal of the 23-year-old fugitive told The Sun that Laundrie was a “heavier-set social outcast” as a 14-year-old, when he weighed almost 40 pounds more than today.
“These last two years were the most public and open he has ever been. He’s a pretty disconnected off-the-grid type of guy — not the selfie type,” the friend told the news outlet.
“He’s the type of person that would be able to drop everything to secure his means of not being captured and to evade arrest or evade prosecution from what seems to be a pending crime,” the pal said.
In middle school, the friend added, Laundrie had “zero friends” and was “very quiet.”
“He was a bit of an outcast when he was younger. He was just so to himself,” they said, adding that “Brian cut his hair and lost weight in high school.”
The pal also noted that guns were a common interest among Laundrie’s small circle of friends in Bayport, Long Island.
“The gun laws in Florida were a lot less restrictive than New York so it was interesting for him to move to another state that allowed that,” the friend told The Sun, adding that he’s “freaked out” about the possibility that Laundrie will contact him while on the run.
“The reason it would be me is his other very close friends were also very close with Gabby but I was just very close with him,” the friend told the outlet.
“He might think I wouldn’t hold some stigma or I wouldn’t care about the matter. I get calls from unknown numbers and from blocked callers and my heart drops. I just think it’s gonna be him on the other side — you never know,” the pal said.
Laundrie disappeared last month after his parents claimed he went for a hike at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, where authorities have been searching since Sept. 18.
He had returned home without his 22-year-old girlfriend on Sept. 1, nearly three weeks before her body was found at a Wyoming campground on Sept. 19.
The fugitive has not been charged in Petito’s death but is named on a federal arrest warrant for allegedly using her stolen bank card after she disappeared.