Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie got matching vine tattoos on their fingers one year ago “to represent them and their love,” said the artist who inked the couple, according to a new report.
Petito, who was found dead last month, and Laundrie, who remains missing and is the subject of an FBI-led manhunt, “came in super excited about getting new tattoos,” Florida tattoo artist Danny Nostrom told The Daily Mail.
Nostrom said the pair got the matching tattoos of vines on October 8, 2020 at his Venice, Florida, shop about eight months before they set out on their doomed cross-country road trip to national parks out west.
“They knew exactly what they wanted,” Nostrom said, according to the Daily Mail. “They said they wanted a couple of vines around each one of their fingers to represent them and their love and the fact they were planning this big trip together. They said they had been together two years.”
“I said, ‘okay, easy enough,'” Nostrom recalled, explaining that Petito added “a couple” other tattoos she wanted — “a ghost riding a skateboard, a little Pisces zodiac sign and a little scorpion on her other fingers.”
While he inked the couple, Nostrom said, “All they talked about was their relationship and how they planned on traveling.”
“They were super excited, very eager about their trip,” he said. “They didn’t specify where they were going or when. They just said they were planning this trip to go live out of a van for a little while.”
Laundrie, 23, and Petito, 22, set out on their “van life” road trip on July 2. Laundrie later returned home to Florida on September 1 with the van and without Petito, police have said.
Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later, and she was found dead at a remote campsite in Wyoming on September 19. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
Nostrom told The Daily Mail that he assumes Petito and Laundrie had told him about their plans for “the same trip that Gabby never returned from.”
“I remember them saying they didn’t even have the van yet, they were working in a Publix supermarket and saving up for it,” Nostrom said.
Nostrom said Petito “came across with a very bubbly personality, very happy. She didn’t seem like she was troubled at all, or anything out of the ordinary. She seemed happy to be in the shop, she seemed super, super friendly.”
However, Laundrie, he said, “was a little more standoffish, but we had a nice conversation anyway. He wasn’t totally socially awkward or anything. He was just a little more quiet.”
Laundrie has been named the sole person of interest in connection to Petito’s disappearance and death.
His family reported Laundrie missing to authorities in Florida on September 17, claiming that he went out for a hike three days earlier and never returned home.
Laundrie has been missing ever since and is wanted by authorities on a bank fraud-related charge.