A hiker on the Appalachian Trail told a 911 dispatcher that he was “99.99 percent sure” that he spoke with Florida fugitive Brian Laundrie, a newly released recording reveals.
“I’ll meet somebody out there if they want to,” Dennis Davis, 53, told the Haywood County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office dispatcher. “I’m telling you, it was him.”
He told the dispatcher the stranger was “talking wild” and “acting funny,” the recording shows.
Davis, an engineer from Florida, told The Post this week that he was driving where the Appalachian Trail runs near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee Saturday morning when he was flagged down by a man who was “talking wild.”
Petito, 22, vanished and was found dead in a Wyoming campground on Sept. 19, nearly three weeks after Laundrie returned home to Florida in her van but without her.
In his 911 call Saturday, Davis said the man he believed to be Laundrie was driving a white pickup truck when he came upon him on the Appalachian Trail, where Laundrie had camped in the past.
“I think it was a Ford F150,” he told the dispatcher. “I’m not 100 percent sure of that, and it was kind of a new model. It wasn’t like an old beater. It was a newer truck.”
“I was making a U-turn in the road and he came up behind me and he slowed down and kind of flashed his lights, like tell me go ahead and go and I’m going to wait for you,” Davis said. “And as I turned around and I’m coming back by him he’s waving his arm out of his truck like for me to slow down.”
“He was talking wild,” he told the dispatcher. “He said that his girlfriend loved him and he had to go out to California to see her, and he was asking me how to get to California.”
But the man chose to stay off I-40, as Davis suggested, and drove off.
“He was acting funny,” he said. “I wasn’t sure about what he looked like. And then I went and parked and pulled up the photographs of him, and I’m 99.99 percent sure that that was him.”
The dispatcher told Davis she would report his call to her sergeant — but he told The Post Saturday that calls to authorities, including the FBI, were not returned.
However, he told Fox News on Monday that he did get a return call from the sheriff’s office on Sunday, and was told they dispatched a deputy to the scene about 12 hours after he reported the sighting.
In a statement Monday, the Haywood County sheriff said it had “received a number of calls regarding the sighting of Brian Laundrie over the past several days, each one being investigated thoroughly and areas of concern searched, but all to no avail.”