KEY POINTS

  • US Marshals arrested Beckwith while he was sleeping at the Fontana Villa Resort
  • Authorities let him go after he produced an ID proving he was not Laundrie
  • A resort employee is suspected to have reported his presence

A man bearing a resemblance to 23-year-old fugitive Brian Laundrie was allegedly held at gunpoint by U.S. Marshals on the Appalachian Trail, a recent report revealed. 

Ithaca couple Severin Beckwith and Anna Brettman were both taking a nap at the Lodge at Fontana Villa Resort when U.S. Marshals knocked down the door to their room and ambushed them at gunpoint. 

“Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘U.S. Marshals’ written on them. Handguns pointed at my face,” Beckwith told The New Yorker.

Beckwith said the authorities took him out to the hallway, still in his underwear, where they touched the side of his head and said he had the same “notch in the upper part” of the inner ear as Laundrie had.

The U.S. Marshals reportedly noted that Brettman used a credit card linked to a New York I.D. when he booked their room. Laundrie currently has an arrest warrant for illegally using a credit card to make a purchase or withdrawal. The card the fugitive used belonged to Petito, who was originally from Long Island. 

Beckwith was later cleared after the federal agents found that he did not have the telltale hand tattoos that Laundrie has. He also produced an I.D. that proved he was not the 23-year-old fugitive. 

It is suspected that one of the resort’s employees called authorities after Beckwith arrived. The employee may have also snapped his photo, as proven by a marshal who showed him the picture after breaking down their door. 

For their trouble, the resort offered the couple a free night’s stay in a different room and a free breakfast buffet. 

“We took as much as we could,” Beckwith told the magazine.

Laundrie is the sole person of interest in the death of his fiancée, 22-year-old Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 21 in Wyoming, at least three weeks after she was killed. A final autopsy result released Oct. 12 ruled that Petito died by “manual strangulation” or “throttling.”

Laundrie has been on the run since Sept. 14, when his parents said he left their home in North Port, Florida, to go hike in nearby Carlton Reserve.

This August 12, 2021, still image from a police bodycam released by the Moab City Police Department in Utah, shows Gabrielle Petito speaking with police as they responded to an altercation between Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie This August 12, 2021, still image from a police bodycam released by the Moab City Police Department in Utah, shows Gabrielle Petito speaking with police as they responded to an altercation between Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie Photo: Moab City Police Department / Handout