Witness claims Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie argued 'aggressively' over phone
A new witness has now said that Gabby Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were seen fighting and arguing "aggresively" over a phone outside a Utah store last month, as onlookers watched. “Something seemed off,” a witness identified as Chris said, referring to the tussle between Petito and Laundrie that led to a 911 call and subsequent police intervention while the couple was on their cross-country trip. Petito was quoted as asking Laundrie at one point, “Why do you have to be so mean?”. Chris further stated that Laundrie appeared to be hitting Petito during the fight.
Offering a perspective different from what the 911 caller had said, Chris said that Laundrie apparently hit Petito while they argued. They were seen fighting at Moonflower Community Cooperative before 5 pm, Chris said in his statement to Moab Police Department. “They were talking aggressively @ each other & something seemed off,” the statement reads. “I think the male took the females (sic) phone. It appeared that he didn’t want her in the white van.”
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Laundrie apparently got into the driver's seat while Petito followed. “At one point she was punching him in the arm and/or face & trying to get into the van,” the statement said. “I wasn’t sure how serious this was – it was hard to tell if they were sort of play fighting, but from my point of view something definitely didn’t seem right.” “Why do you have to be so mean?” Petito asks Laundrie, the witness' statement said, adding that Petito climbed over him and into the passenger seat. Chris claimed that it seemed like Laundrie was trying to take her phone and leave her. “Not sure but wanted to help out,” he said.
Coming to the separate 911 call which led to police intervention, responding officers had said that the “male tried to create distance” by asking Petito to take a walk and calm herself down, when Petito struck him. “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, she opened that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off,” the report said.
On September 1, Brian Laundrie came back home from the trip, with Petito accompanying him. She was reported missing on September 11. Amid a nationwide search for the missing girl, Laundrie disappeared. Petito's body was later discovered and police confirmed that her death was a homicide. Brian Laundrie's whereabouts are still unknown.