An innocent man who is a dead ringer for Gabby Petito murder suspect Brian Laundrie was handcuffed and held at gunpoint.

Police in the US are searching for Laundrie, who has not been seen for more than a month.

Severin Beckwith said he was questioned by federal investigators at gunpoint after being mistaken by tipsters for the wanted fugitive.

He was with travel companion Anna Brettmann at a lodge on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina earlier in October when U.S. Marshals stormed their room.

Severin told the New Yorker: "Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with U.S. Marshals written on them. Handguns pointed at my face.

The hiker was handcuffed while still in his underwear.

Authorities are conducting a nationwide search for Laundrie, 23, who is the sole person of interest in the death of his fiancée, YouTube star Gabby Petito, 22.

Severin and Anna, of Ithaca, New York, had been camping and hiking the Appalachian Trail since late September.

Sheriff Jerry Crisp, for Graham County, North Carolina, told that his department had received calls from several tipsters over the last few weeks reporting possible Laundrie sightings.

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He said they responded after receiving a photograph of Severin, adding: "Somebody sent a photo of him to our investigators and he looked a lot like the possible suspect.

"Our team got in contact with the fugitive task force and they said 'we're on our way.' They felt confident enough it was him."

The sheriff claimed they called out Laundrie's name several times, and Severin responded but wouldn't come to the door.

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Crisp said the innocent man was surprised by the resemblance to his doppelganger and told investigators he had been stopped before.

He was later released and received a free night's accommodation at the lodge for his troubles.

The U.S. Marshals Service, who aided the sheriff's department, confirmed the encounter in a statement Monday.

It reads: "The USMS often supports investigations conducted by our federal, state, local, and tribal partners. In this instance, the Graham County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) in North Carolina had received a tip that the fugitive Brian Laundrie had been sighted in their jurisdiction.

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"GCSO asked the USMS task force to support them in making contact with the subject. The USMS was not the lead investigative agency in this matter and was acting in support of the GCSO."

Meanwhile, police have reportedly found no new evidence of Laundrie's location in the Carlton Reserve, Florida, where sightings have been reported.

Police and FBI have been searching the 25,000-acre nature preserve – where Laundrie was reportedly hiking alone – for more than a month and have employed the use of a human remains-detecting dog in their effort.

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Gabby was found dead on September 19 in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park, months after the pair embarked on a cross-country road trip in their Ford Transit camper van.

She was found eight days after her family reported her missing and 22 days after the last reported sighting of her alive on August 27.

Petito was strangled and likely killed three to four weeks before her body was discovered according to the coroner and her death a homicide.

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