The close friends of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundre reveal the couple's relationship wasn't always picture perfect. Ben Matula, a friend of Laundrie, tells People that there was often a lot of tension between the two. "One minute, they'd be all over each other, the next minute, he'd be like, 'We're fighting,'" said Matula. "They always had some drama."
Laundrie and Petito started dating while they were still in high school in Long Island, New York, but "there was always something below the surface where things weren't 100% wonderful," Matula claims. The manhunt for Brian Laundrie continues after his parents reported him missing on Sept. 17. Laundrie was named a "person of interest" in Gabby Petito's case after the young influencer went missing on Sept. 11. Petito's body was discovered over the weekend in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Police have ruled her death a homicide.
She and Laundrie were said to have been traveling cross-country in her 2012 Ford Transit van when the couple split up in Wyoming. Petito's parents reported her missing to New York's Suffolk County police department, and Laundrie returned home to his parents in Florida alone.
Petito's friend Alyssa Chen echoed Matula's sentiments on the vlogger's on-again, off-again relationship with Laundrie. "They had times they were toxic and times where everything seemed a lot more healthy," Chen told the outlet. "They had very low lows and very high highs. But they really seemed to love each other. When things were good, you'd be like, 'Why can't I have a relationship like that?' When they were bad, you'd be like 'Oh my God, just break up and spare yourself from the drama and everyone else from having to hear about it.'"
Prior to her disappearance, police uncovered a domestic disturbance incident involving the couple. Police responded to a 911 call from a civilian who claims they witnessed Laundrie and Petito in a verbal altercation that turned physical as he allegedly struck and slapped Gabby.
"The guy who he's being made out to be isn't the guy I knew," Matula said of his friend. "But then I have to look at what's going on and realize that he did some stuff that seems like it was shady — seems like maybe he wasn't on the up and up. And because he did that stuff, a girl might be dead and he might be in trouble."