Gabby Petito: 911 caller said Brian Laundrie was slapping and hitting her
The Moab Police earlier reported an "incident" involving missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie on August 12, weeks before Petito went missing. The bodycam footage of the officers' interaction with the couple showed an 'emotional' Petito sobbing as she described the incident. Chief Bret Edge summarized the altercation and reported, "The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to take a walk to calm down. She didn't want to be separated from the male and began slapping him. He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van."
All parties agreed that Petito had slapped Laundrie and that he wasn't the one who struck her. Now, in the latest development, a 911 caller allegedly claimed to have seen Laundrie 'hit' and 'slap' Petito. The caller reported a "domestic dispute" between Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito in Moab, Utah, on August 12. "We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller said. The 911 call recording was released on Monday, September 20.
The dispatcher then asked the caller, "He was slapping her?" "They ran up and down the sidewalk, he proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off, " the caller added.
However, the police report from the same incident tells a different story. A report by an officer who came in contact with Petito and Laundrie near Arches National Park officer wrote, "it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female," but later wrote that "no one reported that the male struck the female."
The bodycam footage showed a distraught Petito, with tears streaming down her face, telling the officer, "We've just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues." She then added, "I have OCD and I was just cleaning and straightening. And I was apologizing to him and saying I'm sorry that I am so mean as sometimes I am so mean because I have OCD and get really frustrated. Not like mean towards him I guess my vibe is like in a bad mood and I said I'm sorry I'm in a bad mood I am stressed I had so much work."
Officers even considered charging Petito for the altercation. But Laundrie stated he did not want to press charges. "At this point, it sounds like she's the primary aggressor," a police officer can be heard saying in the video.
However, according to the 911 call, Laundrie was the aggressor in the altercation. It is not known if the officers had all details of the 911 call, but not referring to the witness's account exposes a possible failure in the police response.
On Monday, Brian Laundrie's home was declared 'scene of crime' as cops launched a full-fledged search inside the house, removing his parents from the property briefly. The search was launched just hours after Gabby Petito's apparent remains were found in a Wyoming national park. Although an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, the FBI is pretty confident that it is her. No cause or time of death has been determined yet.