Brian Laundrie had the personality of a “chameleon” who sometimes lost his temper and always had clean hands despite working with plants and soil, according to a former co-worker from his native New York.
“He never came across as the kind of person that would be the killing type,” Michael Livingston, who said he worked with Laundrie, 23, in parts of 2017 and 2018, told Fox News Digital. “But he did have that tendency to be — I don’t wanna say the wrong thing and make him sound worse than he already is — he was kind of a guy who would get p—ed off pretty quick.”
Livingston, 31, was a landscaper for a Long Island garden center, where Laundrie worked the sales counter and did other odd jobs, he said.
Brian Laundrie as seen in bodycam footage released by the Moab Police Department in Utah. (Moab Police Department)
“I remember from back then he was a big yoga nut, always telling me, ‘I gotta worry about my zen,’” Livingston said. “And I thought he was this weirdo.”
At a fundraiser for the newly established Gabby Petito Foundation, Livingston told Fox News he’d known Petito briefly from her regular visits to his job to see Laundrie. So he showed up at 89 North in Patchogue, New York, on Sunday to pay his respects and support the cause, which Petito’s family set up in order to alleviate some of the difficulties they faced for other families.
He said he never witnessed Laundrie being mean or abusive to his now-deceased former fiancée, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, but he did appear to be jealous if he spotted her talking to other guys.
“He would come over and do the boyfriend thing, put his arm around her, give her a kiss, very possessive,” he said.
New York businesswoman Robin McComb shows off a metal bracelet inscribed with "Justice for Gabby" to support the Gabby Petito Foundation. (Fox News Digital)
An attorney for Laundrie, who is wanted on a federal warrant for debit card fraud and whose whereabouts have remained unknown for more than a month, declined to comment.
“He was a good employee who knew how to talk to people,” Livingston said. “He knew how to make people like him, he knew how to make people happy, and he knew how to make people buy the product that we had, honest. He had the same kind of air you would be taught if you worked at a dealership.”
A person who answered the phone at the facility confirmed Laundrie used to work there.
Petito would visit two or three times a week, Livingston said, and she would ask the staff how they were doing and talk about the road trips she wanted to go on or her plans to travel.
Gabby Petito in an undated photo shared by her father. (Joseph Petito/Twitter)
“Gabby, she was always a sweetheart, very peaceful,” Livingston said. “She was always really nice to me, and she was really outgoing.”
But on Sept. 11 of this year, Petito’s mother reported her missing from a cross-country road trip she began with Laundrie near the beginning of summer. An FBI-led search-and-rescue team found her remains eight days later near a Wyoming campsite that she’d shared with Laundrie. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue later found her death to be a homicide by manual strangulation.
Laundrie returned home to his parents’ place in Florida on Sept. 1, according to authorities, without Petito. Last month, the FBI announced a federal indictment accusing him of draining more than $1,000 from bank accounts he was not authorized to use.
“Once I realize that the person who was missing was somebody I actually knew, it hit me like a tidal wave,” Livingston said.
He also said Laundrie made money on the side by selling drawings and that he spoke about wanting to tour the country’s national parks.
“I think the only reason why she settled for him is he wanted to travel,” Livingston said.