Gabby Petito’s best friend has come forward to describe the young woman’s relationship with Brian Laundrie as “very toxic.”
“At the time, it just seemed like he was jealous,” Rose Davis, 21, told People. “Honestly, it seemed like a jealousy problem, which I understood because, you look at Brian and then you look at Gabby and you’re like, ‘Gabby, you could have anyone in this entire world.’”
“He did have jealousy issues and that was apparent. I mean that you could see right through it when after you hang out with them just a few times,” Davis added.
Petito and Laundrie made national headlines earlier this month when Petito’s family filed a missing person’s report. The couple had been living in a van while driving cross-country to visit various state parks. Laundrie returned alone with the van to his parents’ house in North Port, Florida on September 1. Petito’s body was discovered last Sunday in Wyoming and her death has been ruled a homicide.
There is now a warrant out for Laundrie’s arrest relating to unauthorized debit card purchases he made when he returned to Florida. Authorities have been searching for Laundrie in a Florida reserve for the past week.
Davis told People that her first thoughts after meeting Laundrie for the first time was that “He’s a little weird,” a concern she relayed to her mother at the time.
“I said, ‘Something’s a little off about him. I don’t know what.’ It was the first thing I said,” Davis told the outlet. “My mom said that to me when she went missing. She was like, ‘Didn’t you say he was weird?’”
Davis also told People she thought Laundrie is “a sociopath” who lied and that Petito would regularly confide in her following arguments with him.
“I tried not to judge their relationship, but I knew something was off,” Davis told the outlet. “I just, I didn’t expect this, obviously. I just thought he was just controlling. And bit by bit, she was almost… The more we were hanging out, and the more she was away from [the relationship], the more she got comfortable and was getting into her own skin and then, she started working.”
Davis said Petito was working 50-hour weeks at Taco Bell prior to her trip with Laundrie, which upset her fiancé. The two had quit their jobs at Publix when the coronavirus pandemic began.
“He could keep an eye on her at Publix,” Davis told People. “He didn’t want her to work, and she did. And he was mad about it. And he always tried to get what he wanted and he did, because he wanted the van life and he rushed to that so that she wasn’t going to be able to work anymore.”
Davis also said Laundrie didn’t support Petito’s social media chronicling of their trip. She also said she had seen Gabby previously upset as she appeared in the body cam footage during her trip with Laundrie.
“I have seen her like that, and it’s always the same situation,” Davis told the outlet. “And she always defends him. But she was getting so much more comfortable with me, and I swear this is why he rushed the van life trip — because he knew that I gave her a safe place. She would come to my house when I wasn’t even here, and stay here for hours.”
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