AUGUSTA, KY — During Day 4 of the Billy and Millie Petito Murder Investigation, crews discovered what is believed to be the culprit’s arsenal at the victim’s residence.
Police said they found guns, ammunition, and a large cache of ammunition as well as two dogs’, “Martial arts and survival training equipment such as knives, gloves, and ammunition, along with multiple rounds of ammunition, an axe and hunting camouflage among his personal belongings.” Brian Laundrie Laundrie, a 38-year-old man from Middleboro, Kentucky, a man who lived alone, survived in the Appalachian mountains while on the run. His gear was discovered yesterday morning in the office of the Gregory County Board of Education. News outlets report Laundrie arrived at the school office on Saturday afternoon “without his shoes, clothing or anything of his own”. When contacted by the school’s resource officer, the man told police he was unemployed and living with his girlfriend, WALB reports. When Laundrie was positively identified yesterday as a suspect, officers arrested him.
WALB also reports:
Laundrie is a person of interest in the Petitos’ murder, but until charges are brought against him, the police declined to confirm his status. Also speaking on Friday, Cindy Jones, the mother of the victim’s daughter, Jennifer Petitos, said Laundrie’s release would put the entire family on edge. “They need the time to heal, and knowing Brian could be running around could just put everything back on the table again,” she said. Laundrie was described as 6 feet 1 inches tall, weighing about 185 pounds. “I’ve never seen him, never heard of him,” she said. “I don’t have any relation to him, or I’d help.” Asked why her daughter would have been in the picture with him, Jones said, “I don’t know, I can’t even say that.”
According to the New York Times, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine identified Laundrie from his mugshot photo as a suspect in the Petito murder case. Though the suspect escaped, at least police were able to locate and arrest Laundrie on suspicion of arson and sexual misconduct, charges that appear to be unrelated to the Petitos’ murders. Still, DeWine said he doesn’t believe Laundrie fled the area in search of help.
William Laundrie, the suspect’s father, said at a press conference this morning, “I’ve just been told it was a long weekend on the mountains, well-equipped for this kind of situation.” Laundrie spoke via phone with his daughter, Amber Laundrie, Friday evening, and at least one of the suspects’ ex-wives. As reported by Yahoo News, Juana Garcia said that her ex-husband stayed with Laundrie while they were both in their 70s.
“He stayed at my house most of the week. I met him a few weeks ago when I took him Christmas shopping,” Garcia said.
Juana added that Laundrie told her he stayed with the Petitos so he could collect checks for his mother’s cemetery plot.
“I’m not even angry with the guy at all,” Laundrie’s ex-wife, Nancy Tregg, said, “because he did well until he was 66. Then he started taking pills and this and that.” Laundrie had been on withdrawal for seven years, she said.
“As the years went on, it’s become less of a brother and more of a brother, and then at this point it’s like, ‘I guess I’m going to live out my last days with him,’” Nancy said.
Laundrie “is so devoted to his family and he’s such a perfect angel of this Earth,” Juana said.
A GoFundMe account has been established to raise money for the Petito family, who is set to bury their mother this week.
Jennifer Petitos graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 and worked at Dollar General before working at Georgia Power for the past six years. She received a degree in environmental health and safety management. Prior to her death, she and her mother planned to move back to Georgia to run a small house hunting business and to take a road trip.