'Tasteless' item appears at Gabby Petito's memorial amid new 'sighting' of fiance

·4-min read

A new item placed at a makeshift memorial for murdered Gabby Petito has ignited outrage.

On Saturday, Fox News reporter Michael Ruiz posted an image of a laundry basket filled with items alongside flowers in front of the Florida home the 22-year-old YouTube blogger used to share with her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

Inside the basket sit several cleaning supplies and a sign reading "Dirty Laundrie Come Clean".

The new addition to the memorial has been met with backlash, with some people calling it "tasteless and dishonourable".

"That basket does not belong at a Gabby memorial. Gross," one woman said.

"I feel like it should be at the front door, not near Gabby's memorial," another woman Tweeted.

The laundry basket at a memorial and Gabby Petitio with Brian Laundrie.
A laundry basket placed at a memorial outside Gabby Petito's Florida home has infuriated people. Source: Fox News/Gabby Petito's TikTok

Mr Laundrie’s parents also live at the home.

Another woman said she fears the basket will be considered "dumping" by the city council and will lead to the entire memorial being removed.

Several other Twitter users praised the move, deeming it "hilarious".

Mr Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the death of Ms Petito, who was travelling across the US with her fiancé when she disappeared. Her body was discovered in Wyoming on September 19 after an extensive search.

A manhunt for Mr Laundrie is now underway. His parents told police they last saw their son on September 14 when he reportedly told them he was going for a hike in a nature reserve.

There has been wide speculation that the Laundries are helping their son evade police — an accusation they emphatically deny.

Mr Laundrie and his family had declined to speak with police before he went missing. 

There is an active warrant for his arrest for allegedly fraudulently using a bank debit card after Ms Petito vanished on August 27.

Another reported sighting of Brian Laundrie

The news comes as a man claims he ran into Mr Laundrie on a deserted road near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina on Saturday morning, Fox News reports.

Dennis Davis, an engineer from Florida who has been hiking the trail, said he was waved down by a lost man he believes to have been the 23-year-old.

"There is no doubt in my mind I spoke to Brian Laundrie — none whatsoever," he said, according to Fox News.

Mr Davis said the man was in a car and pulled over to ask him for directions to California using only back roads.

A tearful Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie talking to Moab police.
Gabby Petito explains her altercation with her fiancé after police pull over Brian Laundrie (right). Source: Moab police

"He said 'man, I’m lost'. I said, 'what are you trying to find?' and he said 'me and my girlfriend got in a fight but she called me, told me she loves me, and I have to get to California to see her'," Mr Davis said.

"I said 'well, I-40 is right there and you could take it west to California' and he said, 'I'm just going to take this road into California'.

"He was worried and not making sense."

Mr Davis said he didn’t initially recognise Mr Laundrie during the alleged encounter but later stopped to look up photos on his phone.

He said Duane "Dog" Chapman — reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter, who has joined the search for Mr Laundrie — sent him an audio clip of the 23-year-old, which confirmed his suspicions.

Mr Davis said he has left several messages for the FBI but has yet to hear back.

Last month, a close friend of Ms Petito’s said Mr Laundrie was well-equipped to survive off the land for long periods of time and had previously spent months living on the Appalachian Trail.

Over the weekend, searchers discovered new evidence suggesting Ms Petito's partner may be using a kayak to avoid being found.

New police bodycam footage emerged last week of Ms Petito telling an officer about a physical fight between her and her fiancé just weeks before she vanished.

Police from Moab, Utah, stopped the 22-year-old and Mr Laundrie on August 12 after witnesses called to report a fight between the pair.

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