Gabby Petito missing: police release bodycam footage of interaction with her and Brian Laundrie
Gabby Petito went missing three weeks ago while on a road trip with her fiancé. Utah Police have released bodycam footage of interaction with the couple.
Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set out on a cross-country road trip earlier this summer. She went missing 25 August, days after the couple had what appeared to be an altercation prompting a witness to call 911.
Police in Moab, Utah have released bodycam footage of their 12 August interaction with couple when they responded to the "possible domestic violence" call. The video shows the officers talking to a distraught Petito who told them she had struck her boyfriend and was struggling with her mental health.
Police alerted to possible domestic violence
Laundrie and Petito began their road trip 2 July from New York where Petito is a native of Long Island, although the couple live in Florida. They planned to cross the country camping at national parks along the way in their converted van. An altercation between the two promoted a witness to call 911 when they were near Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab two weeks before Petito disappeared.
The witness said a man and “Gabbie” were fighting over a phone and that “the male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down.” However, she wouldn’t separate from him and started slapping Laundrie. The police report says "He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door.” Once she had the door open, she managed to get in the van and they drove off.
Police consider incident a "mental/emotional health break"
The more than hour-long video from the encounter with Moab City Police, which can be viewed at ABC7NY, shows officers stopping the white converted van the couple was using for their cross-country road trip. The officers immediately separate the two to get each side’s version of events. Petito told police that she suffers from serious anxiety and other redacted medical conditions according to the report.
Neither party wanted to press charges but all agreed that Petito had slapped Laundrie and that he had not hit her. As there were no serious injuries the officers allowed the couple to leave without filing charges but on the condition that they separate for the night. Laundrie was taken to a hotel for the night and Petito was left with the van which she slept in that night.
The officers wrote it down as a "mental/emotional health break" incident rather than domestic assault. Since they were engaged to be married the officer did not consider Laundrie, who is now a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, to be a “risk of danger or harm.” Although Petito did tell the officers that tensions had been building over the previous days.
Petito goes missing
The last know whereabouts of Petito is assumed to be Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On 23 August she told her mother and stepfather that she and Laundrie were leaving Utah and heading north to the park. Her last post on Instagram was dated 25 August.
Laundrie for his part returned alone to Florida, where the couple had moved two years prior, 1 September. Petito was declared missing by her family 11 September and police have since sequestered the van. Laundrie is not cooperating with police.
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