Well, this is another disturbing turn in the Brian Laundrie manhunt.
While the search continues in Florida, there has also been a slew of reported sightings in North Carolina, along the Appalachian Trail. So when reports first came in that the body of a man was discovered on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock over the weekend, many were on the edge of their seats wondering if it was the infamous fugitive.
According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, a park visitor reported seeing the body of an unidentified male on Saturday in the Yadkin Valley Overlook, about 100 miles north of Asheville. Rangers confirmed it just minutes later.
Obviously the news caused a fervor online among the internet sleuths who have been trying to piece together their own homicide investigation and search for Brian Laundrie. Even the FBI had to check!
But now the National Park Service has issued an official update stating this was its own separate new case:
“Preliminary information gathered by investigators does not suggest any ongoing concern for public safety, or that this investigation is related to any other ongoing investigations.”
The FBI made it even more clear, stating to WSOC:
“At this time, there is no evidence to connect or any reason to believe it is related to the search for fugitive Brian Laundrie.”
Ever since the search for Gabby Petito — and subsequent homicide investigation — first gripped the nation, the brightness of the spotlight on the case has been pivotal in uncovering other adjacent mysteries.
The bodies of murdered newlyweds Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte were found somewhat nearby a bit earlier. The disappearance of Lauren Cho paralleled Gabby’s, getting more eyes on that case. The extra attention actually helped authorities finally track down missing Houston father-of-two Robert Lowery — a search which ended in tragedy.
And now we have another body, apparently unrelated.
What do we know about this new case? Basically nothing so far. The cause of death has not been determined, even the identity has not been confirmed — just that it wasn’t Brian Laundrie.
Shockingly, parkway spokesperson Leesa Brandon told the Citizen-Times this was actually the 12th fatality on the Blue Ridge Parkway just this year.
What we’re learning most, it seems, is that there’s still a lot of space out there in this country of ours. Space to hide, space to get lost, space to kill. We would not recommend going into these parks alone.
Stay safe out there, Perezcious hikers.
[Image via Brian Laundrie/Instagram/Fox Carolina/YouTube.]