Gabby Petito’s friend Rose Davis (pictured) said her fiance Brian Laundrie was a jealous and controlling partner
The fiancé of missing ‘van-life’ woman Gabby Petito presents himself as a sweet and caring guy, but is actually jealous and controlling, her friend has claimed in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.
Rose Davis said Brian Laundrie, 23, allegedly went so far as to hide Gabby’s ID once so that she couldn’t meet up with her at a bar, trigging a violent episode similar to the one police investigated weeks before her disappearance.
‘Brian took her ID just so she wouldn’t be able to come out with me,’ she told DailyMail.com on Friday.
‘He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these “episodes,” where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep.
‘Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.’
Laundrie, who was traveling with Gabby out west while filming their adventures for a ‘van-life’ YouTube channel she was creating, returned home to Florida alone on September 1.
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In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Friday, Rose revealed she met Gabby early last year and they instantly hit it off. She shared videos of them taking part in a TikTok dancing trend earlier this year
Rose who lives in Sarasota, a half hour from Gabby and Brian’s home in North Port, said she last spoke to Gabby in early August and was planning to meet her in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park in September
The friend said Laundrie came off as ‘sweet and nice’ but was allegedly always worried that Gabby was going to leave him
‘When I saw that Brian was back from the trip, that was the first thing that popped into my mind – that Brian had one of his episodes – and I was just hoping he didn’t have a snapping moment,’ Rose said.
Rose, 21, who lives in Sarasota, a half hour from Gabby and Brian’s home in North Port, said she last spoke to Gabby in early August and was planning to meet her in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park in September.
Rose had even asked her boss for days off for the trip. They were planning to lock in a specific date on August 29, Rose’s birthday, but Gabby never called.
The next day, Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt received a text from her daughter’s phone with a confusing message: ‘No service in Yosemite.’
Yosemite is about 800 miles from the Grand Teton National Park-Yellowstone area where Gabby was last known to be on August 25.
Gabby’s mother told DailyMail.com she’s certain her daughter didn’t send that message, suggesting it could have come from Brian, to possibly distract from her real whereabouts.
She reported her daughter missing on September 11, and police have since identified Brian as a ‘person of interest.’
Rose said she met Gabby early last year on Bumble BFF, a meeting app for friends, and they instantly hit it off.
Rose spoke animatedly and cheerfully about her friendship with Gabby, sharing photos of them together – but began to break down as she appealed to Laundrie to talk to cops about her best friend
She recalled one occasion in which Laundrie allegedly stole Gabby’s ID so she couldn’t go out with Rose to a bar
Police on Tuesday revealed they responded to an ‘incident’ involving 22-year-old ‘van-life woman’ Gabby Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, two weeks before she was last seen
‘Neither of us had any friends,’ Rose recalled, laughing.
‘She had texted me, saying: “You seem so cool. I really want to be your friend. Can we be friends?” And I was like, “Yes, I’d be happy to be your friend.”
‘We just went everywhere together,’ she said.
Gabby, who worked last year at Taco Bell and then took a job at a smoothie place, would sometimes join Rose when she was working her job delivering pizza.
‘We’d tell people she was my emotional service human,’ Rose giggled.
Rose got to know Laundrie early on when she’d visit their home in North Port.
‘I used to consider him a friend, for sure, because I’d hang out with them a good amount,’ she noted.
‘He had this composure as a sweet, nice, caring guy. But you could tell he’s a little off, a little weird. Like, he’d set up our hammocks when we’d go to beach, but wouldn’t sit with us, which I found bizarre.
‘Brian has a jealousy issue,’ Rose said. ‘I’m her only friend in Florida to my knowledge and that’s not because she can’t make friends, he just didn’t want her to have friends.’
Rose and Gabby were so close that they’d share their locations with each through an iPhone app ‘in case we got lost,’ Rose said. But when Laundrie found out, he made Gabby delete it, she said.
‘I didn’t push the issue because I didn’t want it to cause an argument with him,’ she said.
‘He was always worried she was going to leave him,’ she added. ‘It was a constant thing to try to get us to stop hanging out.
Cassie Laundrie (pictured) became the first member of the Laundrie family to break her silence about Gabby’s disappearance in an interview with ABC News that aired Friday morning
Cassie (left) says she has not yet spoken to her brother, who was named a person of interest earlier this week, and that if she had more information she would share it
‘He’d demand she be home for dinner, often cut our time short. He’d demand to pick her up from my house, even when I had a car and offered to drive.’
She said the couple wouldn’t argue in front of her, but she could tell afterward. Gabby would appear upset, but he’d seem calm.
She said it was evident in the body camera footage police shared of an incident involving the two in Moab, Utah on August 12. A witness had called 911 after seeing the couple fighting.
When police pulled the couple over, Gabby appeared was breathing heavily and crying, while Laundrie seemed composed, even as he exhibited scratch marks on his face.
Gabby was seen with tears streaming down her face, telling officers she ‘was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down’ and admitting the couple ‘have been fighting all morning.’
She also told cops that she suffers from OCD and anxiety. Both she and Laundrie also said she had been stressed about the YouTube blog they were working on about their cross-country trip.
Rose, who knew that her friend suffers from anxiety, said ‘for her anxiety to act up like that, there has to be a decent thing to trigger it. Something had to happen, or just a lot of things had to build up.’
‘I’m a little upset she didn’t just call me after that fight, because she would have before,’ Rose added.
The above map illustrates the places Petito and Laundrie visited since the start of the trip leaving New York on July 2 to when she last spoke to her family on August 25 from Grand Teton National Park
Brian Laundrie had been traveling with Gabby on a cross-country road trip before he returning to Florida in the couple’s camper van without her on September 1
Gabby Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt (pictured together) slammed Brian Laundrie’s sister after she gave an interview claiming she loves Gabby ‘like a sister’ but failing to get her brother to share information on her disappearance
She said the body camera footage reminded her of the ID episode from Florida.
Last summer, Gabby was driving to a bar to go line-dancing with Rose in Sarasota when she noticed her driver’s license missing from her wallet.
Gabby returned home and confronted her boyfriend, who Rose said admitted he took her license.
‘Brian didn’t want her to go out with me, so he took it,’ she recalled. ‘She was so hysterical. She told me she slapped him and said something about him pushing her.
‘She was holding back. I told her you need to tell me the deep of what happened and she just wouldn’t.’
Rose also tried, delicately, to get Gabby to reconsider her engagement to Laundrie.
Gabby told her mother she’d put off the engagement, but according to Rose, they were still looking to get married.
‘I told her you’re young and Brian is a little controlling for her, but I also told her to do what makes you happy and I’m here to support you,’ she said.
Rose spoke animatedly and cheerfully about her friendship with Gabby – but began to break down as she appealed to Laundrie to talk to cops about her best friend.
She also smiled as she scrolled through videos of Rose and Gabby together on her phone. One of them is fun footage of them dancing together in a clip for TikTok.
Cops received reports of a possible domestic violence incident near the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab on August 12
A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation and cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’